Today when you ask most church-goers, “Are you a disciple of Jesus?” you most likely will be met with looks of confusion or uncertainty. They may respond with, “I am a Christian. Does that count?” Others think of the term “disciples” as only referring Jesus original core group of disciples, “the twelve” as they were called.
But in Matthew 28:19-20, we read that after his resurrection and just before he ascended into heaven, Jesus commanded his own disciples, including many men and women beyond the twelve, to “go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” (ESV).
He told his disciples to make disciples. Not disciples of their own, but disciples of Jesus himself. Ones, who like “the twelve,” followed after Jesus, being fully conformed to his image and his way. And as we read through the book of Acts we find that they did just that, performing great signs and wonders as the church spread like wildfire throughout the Roman Empire and beyond.
We also find in Acts that it was in Antioch that Jesus’ disciples began to be called “Christians,” a word which literally means “little Christs” (Acts 11:19-26). They were called this because of the way in which they lived their lives, following after Jesus in both word and deed.
Yet today it seems both the words “Christian” and “disciple” seem to be used to merely refer to someone who goes to church or believes in certain teachings of Christianity. But to be honest, that definition has always left me uneasy and wanting more. I grew up going to church each Sunday, learning all the Bible stories but wondering, “Is this all there is to Christianity?”
Further, like many Christians in America today, I wondered, “What does it really mean to be a disciple of Jesus?”
To answer that important question, we’ll be focusing on the topic of discipleship from Sunday, August 21st through Sunday, September 25th, seeking to understand what it means to truly follow Jesus. You can see the weekly schedule below for more info.
As we embark on this journey, we invite you to join us on Sunday at 10:30 AM. I hope to see you there!
August 21st- “Disciples Follow” Matthew 4:18-22
August 28th- “Disciples Abide” John 15:1-8
September 4th- “Disciples Love” John 15:9-17
September 11th- “Disciples Are Ambassadors of Christ” 2 Corinthians 5:11-20
September 18th- “Disciples Have a Mission” Matthew 9:35-10:1
September 25th- “Disciples Multiply” Matthew 28:18-20