What Is a Disciple?

I think we will probably do a lot of defining during this course to make sure we’re on the same page. I think a lot of people have a lot of ideas about a lot of things! I want us to focus on what the Bible says and try to just believe it.

I guess right there is where we start. This course is based on the Bible and assumes that you accept the Bible is true. It will be our guide for how to follow Jesus and be His disciple, so we need to be able to trust it. If you want to learn more about how we know the Bible is true and all such related topics, Easy Peasy has an apologetics course. That’s where you’d find that.

The first disciples of Christ are those called by Jesus to follow Him. The first “Christians” in the Bible weren’t called Christians at first. In the book of Acts, they are first talked about as belonging to the Way. I like that name, since Jesus is the Way! We could also say that the believers belonged to Christ.

They were followers of the Way or followers of Jesus. If you read the gospels, that’s what His disciples did. They literally followed Him around. What else did they do?

The disciples listened to His teaching and learned from Him. They participated in His work at His direction. Jesus used the disciples to pass out the miraculously multiplied bread and fish. He could have miraculously just given it straight to everyone, or even just filled their bellies! God chose to use the disciples in the work.

We could define a disciple of Christ as one who follows Jesus, learns His ways, and participates in His work.

Here are some Scriptures. Read them and state the lesson point it shows. What does the verse teach you? I will give you lots of verses because God’s words matter more than mine, though I am trying to point you to God’s words with mine. God’s word has an impact on us. Look what Ephesians 5:26 says as about God’s word: “to make her holy and clean, washed by the cleansing of God’s word.” We’re washed by God’s word. God’s word is making us clean so we can be with God! That’s what we want, to be with Him! His word is life to us!

Psalm 119:160 (NIV)  All your words are true; all your righteous laws are eternal.

Acts 9:1-2  [Saul] approached the high priest and asked him for letters to the synagogues at Damascus, so that if he found any belonging to the Way, men or women, he might bring them bound to Jerusalem.

John 14:6  Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”

Matthew 9:9  As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him.

Matthew 11:29  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

Mathew 10:5-8  These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them, “…And proclaim as you go, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse lepers, cast out demons. You received without paying; give without pay.”

Lesson Point: A disciple of Christ is one who follows Jesus, learns His ways, and participates in His work.

Challenge Question: How are you participating with Jesus in His work?

Don’t skip the challenge question. Answer before you move on to read this. I will give you lots of Scripture because I’m training disciples. We need to look to His word for our path. We need to look to His word for comfort and help. We need to look to His word for life and peace. We need to look to His word for the truth and the light of salvation. Don’t skip over the Scriptures because you have decided you already know them. You will be reading these words for the rest of your life. God’s word is the living word and can be new to you each day. The same story can mean new things to you when you read it again. Ask the Lord to make His word new to you each day and to shine His light on it as you read to show you what He wants you to see that day.

Some days the Scriptures will be in a list like this and will repeat what’s in the lesson, so you can see I’m not just talking but giving you what the Bible says. Other times the verses will be in the lesson, and other times the verses are the lesson!

We read today that Jesus said, “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” In God’s word we find our way, truth, and life. We’re seeking and finding Jesus when we’re searching and learning what’s in the Bible. That should give us a heart desire to read His word. Jesus is worth the pursuit!