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What is Discipleship?

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Introduction

Discipleship Teachers around the time when Jesus lived thought that learning was such that the people who wanted to learn should come to them to be taught. But Jesus felt differently and rather than waiting for people to come to him, he went out to find them and then chose them to be his followers. He called them disciples and this word means one who learns. But Jesus chose his disciples carefully as we are told in Mark 1:16-20 and also in Mark 3:13-19. In the first passage, Jesus appoints his first four disciples, Simon, Andrew, James and John. They were two sets of brothers and were all fishermen. Jesus said to them "Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men." (Mark 1:17) Immediately, they left their things and followed a man they hardly knew. This shows that they were willing to give up everything for someone who they knew they could trust. In Mark 2:13-17, Jesus calls up the fifth disciple, Levi who was a tax collector, and Jesus later renamed him Matthew. But Levi was not called in the same way as the other four disciples. Jesus was with him at the tax collector's booth and Jesus simply said, "Follow me" (Mark 2:14) and he rose and followed Jesus. These five men responded immediately to Jesus and this is very surprising as he is a man who they have never met before. But it appears that Jesus has some sort of authority, which causes them to respond immediately. The first five disciples were told to leave everything and just follow Jesus regardless of the value of the things they were leaving behind. ...read more.

Middle

Mark 10: 24-25. Jesus tells the disciples this because they feel that they have given everything up to be with Jesus, but really, what they have given up is nothing in comparison to the harder things that some people who want to in the kingdom of God have to give up. In the story of the Widow's Offering, the rich man puts a large amount of money into the collection box but the widow puts in all she has. It is clear that the widow is offering more because she is giving up all she has. But it is not the money that is the most important; it is the selfless giving that is of much more significance. On many occasions the disciples misunderstand the path they are supposed to follow and they misunderstand their role as disciples, and on many occasions, Jesus has had to correct them. Their role was a very difficult one and they were not always able to deal with a situation on the correct way. In Mark 9:33-37, the disciples are arguing about who is the greatest disciple and Jesus has to tell them, "If anyone wants to be first, he must be the very last, and the servant of all." Mark 9:35. It was here that Jesus taught his disciples the difference between greatness and humility, and that they were here on earth to serve others. Another example of the disciples misunderstanding their role is when James and John ask that Jesus reserve a place for them in heaven, at his left and right hand. ...read more.

Conclusion

A modern day disciple would find it difficult because our world is so materialistic and it would be extremely difficult for a person to give up the wealth gained from a job. Many items in society like drugs can be a barrier between a person and their path towards discipleship. But I do think that some people's faith is strong enough to enable them to be a modern day disciple, even though it is not in such literal terms. There are many people who have made great sacrifices to follow Jesus and do his work in our world today. Mother Teresa of Calcutta was a strong believer in Christ and she is an example of a disciple in the modern world. Society does appear to hinder a person's path towards discipleship but a true disciple should be able to overcome that difficulty. Being a disciple of Jesus has many implications for every area of a person's life and this is because their every action is influenced by Jesus' example. St Teresa of Avila (a 16th century RC Carmelite nun) once said, "Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours." This means that we are on earth to represent Jesus' and he lives in us and this is another way of us being disciples of Christ. In our lifetime today we are charged with a very important mission and that is to serve Jesus during our time on earth and be disciples, and also preach the word of Jesus to the people who do not yet know. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...read more.

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