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

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Introduction

Ryan Harrison (i) Explain the meaning of discipleship for the first disciples and for disciples today. (You should refer to the Bible and the thinking/writing of Christians and Roman Catholic tradition to illustrate and support what you say.) Discipleship The definition of the word disciple means a follower or one who learns. Jesus chose several disciples to follow him and to go out and preach his teachings. We are told in the 'call of the disciples' in Mark's gospel that the men Jesus chose weren't special or significant in any way, the men he chose were just normal men consisting of fishermen and tax collectors. Jesus appoints his first four disciples, Simon, Andrew, James and John by simply saying: "Come follow me and I will make you fishers of men." Immediately, they left their things and followed a man they hardly knew. This is the only indication we get that the disciples were in a way special, because the disciples had the courage and trust in God follow Jesus. ...read more.

Middle

They were told this because Jesus wanted the apostles to rely totally on other people and have faith in God that they will be provided with what they need. They were told, to shake the dust from their feet when leaving a house that didn't welcome them. This was a tradition that the Jews used when crossing the border into their own country, it was so that the holy land wasn't being contaminated by gentile dust. Jesus tells the disciples about the cost of discipleship, which is putting God first in your life with the commandments also. Jesus also told them that the most important commandment is "Love God and your neighbour as yourself" which has been practised since today by disciples throughout the world. Jesus also says: "If anyone would come after me, they must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me," This meaning one must deny themselves and accept poverty by putting themselves last, they also must have no desire for material things. ...read more.

Conclusion

It would be extremely hard to follow the example set by the first disciples as the world and societies that we live in have changed so much since the time of Jesus, the methods of teachings that they practiced would have little effect on the people of today. It is seen in today's society whether it be people in town centres or people coming to your home that the 'fishing of men' mission that Jesus spoke of to his disciples just does not work in today's modern society. A practising disciple also may face ridicule and abuse due to their faith. These are examples of why people may be put off from following their beliefs. There are still people though who succeed in becoming a modern day disciple such as Mother Theresa of Calcutta. This is a person who has totally dedicated her life to what she believes and is proof that if a person's faith is strong enough, social attitudes will not interfere with their life as a disciple of God. ...read more.

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