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Explain the meaning of discipleship for the first disciples and Christians today.

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Introduction

Explain the meaning of discipleship for the first disciples and Christians today. A disciple is one who follows and learns from a leader. A disciple is not just a follower but also a believer. Mark's picture of discipleship is a morbid one, which exposes the first disciples failure, misunderstanding and desertion of Jesus. Although the disciples failed, they were forgiven and took up again the challenges given to them by Jesus. In the opening two chapters of the gospel, Jesus calls five men to be his disciples. The first four are called by the lakeside in Galilee. Incidentally all four are fishermen and are two sets of brothers. Simon and his brother Andrew were catching fish, while James and John were mending nets with their father. All four men respond positively to Jesus call. Their response is one of enthusiasm and impulse. Levi, a tax collector was also called by Jesus to be one of the first disciples. Again he too responds immediately to the calling, and drops everything to follow Jesus. Jesus did not select the elite members of society to be his companions; instead he selected outcasts and everyday people. Mark shows us the supreme authority Jesus had to call men, in such a way that they responded immediately. ...read more.

Middle

Confrontations with the Jewish leaders were inevitable, as they didn't want Jesus to turn the people away from their beliefs and teachings. The first disciples had begun to show a closed mind attitude and failed to see the bigger picture in regards to the concepts of Messisahship and the kingdom of God. Jesus was human also, and Mark makes it clear to us on several occasions that Jesus' patients were wearing thin! He would not speak to them without using 'parables' (a parable is a story with a hidden moral. The meaning is not explained, it is left to the listener to work out. The events and characters are based on everyday life.) One of the most difficult parables for the disciples to decipher was 'The Parable of the Sower' (Ch4: 1-9). The parable shows the different ways people respond to the message of God. The parable is full of symbolism and it is worthwhile to look at the allegoric explanation. The Sower represents God who sows the message in the form of seeds. Everyone receives the message, but the parable portrays the four responses to the message through the surroundings it is sown. The unresponsive hearer is represented by the seed sown on the path. ...read more.

Conclusion

The only thing I can gather from this is the fear and distress expressed. They were unable to deliver the message and fled from the tomb. All seems lost in the regard of discipleship, but all is not lost. After his resurrection, Jesus appeared to the eleven existing disciples. They had enclosed themselves in, and were in a state of depression. Jesus scolded them for their lack of faith and their stubbornness to accept the resurrection. Jesus gave the disciples the commission to: 'Go throughout the whole world and preach the gospel to the human race. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved ; Whoever does not believe will be condemned. Believers are given the power to perform miracles . They will drive out demons in my name; They will speak strange tounges; They will place their hands on sick people And they will get well.' Jesus is still their leader and they are still his disciples despite their failings. I have portrayed the extreme challenge of discipleship, but discipleship although demanding has its rewards. Although there are no materialistic rewards for discipleship, it has many deep emotional satisfactions, which are greater than possessions. The satisfaction of knowing that you have fulfilled God's wishes is priceless. Going along the difficult road of discipleship has the greatest reward of any, eternal life in paradise in the kingdom of God. . ...read more.

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