What does it mean to be a disciple?
People are attracted to Jesus; often because of miracles that authenticate His position as the Son of God. People are attracted to people who care for them, love them and meet their needs. Listening is the next step ; Learning follows listening actively
Being a disciple means being a learner, a follower, someone who seeks to be like the person they are following. So being a disciple of Jesus Christ means we get our identity and purpose from following Him.
Luke 6:40 A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.
Action on what we have learned is called application.
In Matthew 10 we find Jesus pushing His disciples out of the nest. They have been walking with Him ,listening to Him, Watching Him perform miracles and hopefully seeing God the Father more clearly as Jesus reveals the Father. They have been learning and now comes application.
Mathew 10:1 and following – Jesus summoned His twelve disciples and gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every kind of disease and every kind of sickness. Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: The first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; and James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother; Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus; Simon the Zealot, and Judas Iscariot, the one who betrayed Him. These twelve Jesus sent out after instructing them:
He told them where to go and where not to go: “Do not go in the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter any city of the Samaritans; but rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
He told them what to say: And as you go, preach, saying,‘ The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’
He gave them power to accomplish the task: Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse the lepers, cast out demons. Freely you received, freely give.
He told them how to receive care and what to expect: Do not acquire gold, or silver, or copper for your money belts, or a bag for your journey, or even two coats, or sandals, or a staff; for the worker is worthy of his support. And whatever city or village you enter, inquire who is worthy in it, and stay at his house until you leave that city. As you enter the house, give it your greeting. If the house is worthy, give it your blessing of peace. But if it is not worthy, take back your blessing of peace. Whoever does not receive you, nor heed your words, as you go out of that house or that city, shake the dust off your feet. Truly I say to you, it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrah in the Day of Judgment than for that city.
When a person applies what she or he is learning and he or she joins in a community for support and growth; growth is extended to all. The development of community helps people to be more like the person they are following. He taught them and expected them to fulfill the mission based on what they know and understand. He did not expect them to be flawless or without fear. He expected them to apply what they knew and tell others of the Kingdom of god: isn’t that what we are expected to do?
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