Do you know what a disciple is? This is one of the terms we commonly hear in the church, but what exactly does it mean? Who qualifies as a disciple, and what’s required to become one? It’s a term Jesus often used when calling people to follow Him, and before He ascended to the Father, He told His followers to make disciples of all Nations (Matthew 28 19-20).
Pastor Charles Stanley comments, “The word disciple means a learner, one who follows another’s teaching. Although a variety of definitions have been used to describe this relationship, I would define a disciple as one who’s accepted Jesus Christ as Savior, yielded to Him as Lord, and received Him as one’s very life. A disciple is someone who can say, ‘it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me’ (Galatians 2:20).
All disciples are Christians, but not everyone who attends church is a disciple. Those who listen to sermons without applying what they learn or sharing their faith are not disciples. A true disciple hungers for Christ and His Word and as a result grows in his or her Christian life.”
Many churches today are more focused on numbers than discipleship, but Jesus was never impressed by the crowds that followed Him. In fact, He sometimes made difficult statements that caused the people to leave Him. This was the situation in Luke 14:25-33). When large crowds were following Him, He told them what was required to be His disciple.
Over the next couple of weeks we will unpack these verses to better understand what it means to be a disciple of Christ.