The Meaning of Discipleship
Discipleship revolves around following Jesus both physically and
spiritually. Both the first disciples and Christians today are
followers of Jesus.
A disciple of Jesus would be expected to respond immediately to Jesus,
love his neighbour, be willing to forgive sins, show generosity,
accept persecution and live their lives using gospel values in
everything they do and say.
The first disciples of Jesus were expected to give up everything to be
real followers of Jesus as this was illustrated in Mark's Gospel when
Jesus called his first disciples.
As Jesus walked along the shore of Lake Galilee he saw two fishermen,
Simon and his brother Andrew, catching fish with a net. Jesus said to
them "Come with me, and I will teach you to catch people." At once
they left their nets and went with him.
He went a little farther on and saw two other brothers James and John,
the sons of Zebedee. They were in their boat getting their nets ready.
As soon as Jesus saw them, he called them; they left their father
Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and went with Jesus. (Mark's
Gospel - 1:16-20)
This extract from the story of Gospel portrays many factors of
discipleship the first disciples were to undergo. The main point this
story is proving is that to be a disciple you must respond immediately
to Jesus' demands even if that means leaving your friends, family and
In chapter two of Mark's Gospel Jesus was once again back to the shore
of Lake Galilee where he started to teach a crowd of people.
As he walked along, he saw a tax collector, Levi son of Alphaeus,
sitting in his office. Jesus said to him, "Follow me." Levi got up and
(Mark's Gospel - 2:14)
This displays the fact that Jesus wasn't afraid to work with social
outcasts and that he treats everyone with equality. Levi demonstrates
true discipleship by also responding to Jesus' request by immediately
following him even if he is to leave everything behind.
Jesus was fully aware that his disciples were to find it difficult to
give up everything without the thought of a reward and when Peter
emphasised the point by telling Jesus, "Look, we have left everything
and followed you."
Jesus replied, "Yes"â€¦"and I tell you that anyone who leaves home or
brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me
and for the gospel, will receive much more in this present age. He
will receive a hundred times more houses, brothers, sisters, mothers,
children and fields - and persecutions as well; and in the age to come
he will receive eternal life. But many now who are first will be last,
and many who now are last will be first." (Mark's Gospel - 10:29-31)
This shows that Jesus' disciples will be rewarded eternal life for the
good they create in...