Disciple Up # 100
What Is A Disciple Anyway?
By Louie Marsh, 3-20-2019
(1) Usually a substantive (μαθητής, mathētés, “a learner,” from manthánō, “to learn”;
Latin discipulus, “a scholar”):
The word is found in the Bible only in the Gospels and Acts. But it is good Greek, in use from Herodotus down, and always means the pupil of someone, in contrast to the master or teacher
In all cases it implies that the person not only accepts the views of the teacher, but that he is also in practice an adherent. A disciple is a “follower,” someone who adheres completely to the teachings of another, making them his rule of life and conduct.
The word has several applications. In the widest sense it refers to those who accept the teachings of anyone, not only in belief but in life. Thus the disciples of John the Baptist, 14 Then the disciples of John came to him, saying, “Why do we and the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Matthew 9:14 (ESV)
also of the Pharisees, 33 And they said to him, “The disciples of John fast often and offer prayers, and so do the disciples of the Pharisees, but yours eat and drink.” Luke 5:33 (ESV)
But its most common use is to designate the adherents of Jesus.
- In the widest sense, 66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. John 6:66 (ESV)
It is the only name for Christ’s followers in the Gospels.
- especially the Twelve Apostles, even when they are called simply the disciples, 1 And he called to him his twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction. 2 The names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Matthew 10:1-2 (ESV)
In the Acts, after the death and ascension of Jesus, disciples are those who confess Him as the Messiah, Christians, 1 Now in these days when the disciples were increasing in number, a complaint by the Hellenists arose against the Hebrews because their widows were being neglected in the daily distribution. 2 And the twelve summoned the full number of the disciples and said, “It is not right that we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables. Acts 6:1-2 (ESV)
26 and when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. For a whole year they met with the church and taught a great many people. And in Antioch the disciples were first called Christians. Acts 11:26 (ESV)
Even half-instructed believers who had been baptized only with the baptism of John are disciples: 1 And it happened that while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul passed through the inland country and came to Ephesus. There he found some disciples. 2 And he said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said, “No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.” 3 And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” They said, “Into John’s baptism.” Acts 19:1-3 (ESV)
The disciple of Christ today may be described in the words of Farrar, as “one who believes His doctrines, rests upon His sacrifice, imbibes His spirit, and imitates His example.”
Jesus used the term disciple but never Christian.
To Be Disciple Requires Some Radical Commitments:
- To Becoming Like Jesus NOT the culture
- To The Bible As God’s Word
- To being completely accountable for who I am
- To take ownership of everything I do
- To view repentance as a lifestyle
- To rely on the Holy Spirit
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