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

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Introduction

Explain the meaning of discipleship for the first disciples and for the disciples of today. A disciple is a follower of a master. Through history there have been many famous masters that had a collection of disciples, but perhaps none are as well documented as Jesus and his followers. Whereas other masters, or Rabbis would have looked for certain qualities in a disciple, Jesus chose twelve ordinary working class citizens to be his followers. The main reason for this is perhaps that Jesus wanted to set the example that anyone, even the very poor would be welcome to follow his teachings. In fact, Jesus particularly wanted poor people to listen to him, so long as they are trusting, reliable and willing to listen. The fact that there were twelve disciples reflected the twelve tribes of Israel. Each of these tribes had a leader, and Jesus hoped that one day his twelve disciples would replace them. In the first chapter of Mark, Jesus calls upon his disciples. In Mark 1:14-20, the first two disciples are called. They are Simon and Andrew, and first meet Jesus when they are doing their job - fishing. "Come follow me", shouts Jesus, "and I will make you fishers of men." ...read more.

Middle

Even though the followers Jesus chose were quite good, they did not always fully understand what it was to be a disciple. They were only human after all, and had been used to traditions handed down over generations. In Mark 9:33-37 some of the disciples ask Jesus who is the greatest among them. Jesus replies with two points, first saying "Whoever wants to be first must place himself last of all and be the servant of all." Then showing them a child, He said "Whoever welcomes in my name one of these children, welcomes not only me but also the one who sent me." Jesus wanted the disciples to have child-like qualities: trust and willingness to accept an order without question. In Mark 10:35-45 James and John come to Jesus and ask Him if they may sit on either side of Him in heaven. They completely misunderstood the meaning of what Jesus was trying to tell them, so Jesus explains that in order to be great you have to be a servant and suffer. All that James and John were thinking of was themselves looking good. This is an important message to modern Christians - you need to serve to be served. ...read more.

Conclusion

Another important point Jesus taught His disciples was 'love thy neighbour'. This would mean treating others as they would like to be treated themselves, with kindness. By loving enemies, a disciple would show that they are forgiving enough to live with them. There are lots of examples of people doing this, for example the race relations in South Africa. In Mark 9:36-37, Jesus tells his disciples that He would like them to adopt child-like qualities such as being able to willingly follow orders and trust. This is another important quality of a disciple in my opinion because you need to be able to accept new things. It is not easy to be a disciple in the modern world, the main distraction being money. People today generally regard money and material possessions as more important than God. They also may find it challenging to give money to charity because they may need to support their families first. Time is also a major factor - in today's busy world, many people need to work and often will not find the time to go to church or pray. It would be impractical to think that modern disciples should be like the disciples of Jesus because we live in a world that has changed dramatically since the time of Jesus. However, the qualities of the first disciples should be the ones modern disciples should have. Daniel Farrimond 11L ...read more.

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