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The meaning of discipleship today is very much the same as it was in the times of Jesus

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Introduction

AO2 Christian discipleship is a concept that was born when Jesus Christ hand selected his first twelve followers. A disciple, by definition, is a convinced believer of a school or individual. In the case of Jesus, the disciples where those who followed him while he was here on Earth, as well as those who continue to follow him and his teachings today in the modern world. The meaning of discipleship today is very much the same as it was in the times of Jesus. It is all about battling against injustice, sickness and homelessness. A disciple today is expected to follow Jesus' example. "If anyone wants to come with me, he must forget self, carry his cross and follow me" Following this path takes a great amount of courage and self-discipline. In today's society, this can be very hard. The self-sacrifice involved in discipleship in the modern world could be considered to be greater than that of biblical times. In Jesus' day, the following was only beginning to grow, but seemed to do so even when the road was hard. However, in today's world, becoming less important to Christians, with many simply too involved in their own pursuits of self-interest to consider helping others who may be in difficulty. Today's Christians not only have to deal with disbelief, but also with indifference and ridicule. There are five ways in which discipleship might affect the lives of Christians today. They are Vocation, Service, Faith, Prayer and worship. Vocation is the main way. Vocation comes from the Latin word 'voca' meaning an inclination, as if in response to a summons, to undertake a certain kind of work, especially a religious career; a calling. ...read more.

Middle

In Christianity, it is an act of love for God. We must spend time with God in the same way that we spend time with the people who we love. It is possible to worship God in private, or as a group in Church. Disciples today can put into practice the greatest commandment, loving the lord with all your heart, will all your soul with your entire mind and with all your strength, and the second part, being 'love your neighbour as you love yourself'. A true Christian disciple would take the form of regularly attending church, participating in the sacraments- reconciliation for example, and caring for others at all times. Many people do this today, by caring for those who are sick or unwell, or by helping those less well off than themselves. For example, organisations like CAFOD and Trocraire, who spend their time raising money for the third world. Ordinary people like ourselves can do this too in everyday life, whether it be giving money to charity, or doing volunteer work for local centres. In my own life, I had the opportunity to do this in the Special Olympics, by doing volunteer work with disabled children. Many people today live out their discipleship in their careers. Hospital staff for instance, spend their lives caring for the sick, as do workers of care homes, or nursing homes. Today, discipleship means different things to different people. There are many ways that people choose to live out their vocation, each of them a personal decision made by that person. Although we may all be baptised in the same way, we can each interoperate our call in different ways. ...read more.

Conclusion

For example, people who have left their well paying careers to work with a charity organisation or to become a missionary worker, or simply to change jobs, to become a teacher. They may find half way through their life that they have made a mistake, and decide to try out new ways of life in order to find their true calling. Many Christians are depicted in the 'Parable of the Sower' as the 'seed which fell among the thorns'. "That which fell among the thorns are those who have heard, and as they go on their way they are choked with cares, riches and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity." These are Christians who are distracted by the modern world ad forget about God and their vocation. Many do not make time, and fail to pray, serve or worship God. Discipleship is different for us today as it was for the first disciples, but there are still a lot of similarities. All followers of Jesus are asked to show commitment towards him and his teachings. Both the apostles and Christians today have a vocation, and time to live out their discipleship. Many believe that the first disciples faced more difficulties as they were persecuted against, but it could also be argued that for them it was easier to have faith, as they witnessed Jesus and his miracles, whereas today Christians must have blind faith to believe in what they hear and read. It is easy to see how discipleship has changed since the time of Jesus, as many Christians today are not as committed toward their vocation as the first disciples, who gave up all they had. Today, it seems that modern Christians are prepared to put money and possessions before God. ...read more.

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