I think there is often a lot of confusion about what the word disciple means in the context of the Christian faith.
I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
And I am unabashedly bold in my belief that life as a disciple of Jesus is simply better than life not as a disciple — and I believe that is true for every person ever born.
And I believe that being a disciple of Jesus — at its core — entails three things: (1) an acknowledgement of who He is; (2) a decision to follow Him; and (2) a desire to become more like Him.
WHO IS HE?
Well, in terms of what I believe, here is a pretty good summary:
[I] believe in one Lord, Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
eternally begotten of the Father,
God from God, Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made,
of one Being with the Father.
Through him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
he came down from heaven:
by the power of the Holy Spirit
he became incarnate from the Virgin Mary,
and was made man.
For our sake he was crucified under Pontius Pilate;
he suffered death and was buried.
On the third day he rose again
in accordance with the Scriptures;
he ascended into heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again in glory to judge the living and the dead,
and his kingdom will have no end.
Perhaps, more simply: Lord of Lords, King of Kings, Almighty God, Savior of the World, Jewish Messiah.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE TO FOLLOW HIM?
We throw that phrase around a lot, at least in evangelical Christianity. What does it actually look like?
I think it is as simple as going where He goes, doing what he does.
Now this isn’t as hard as it sounds?
Where does He go? We know that God is everywhere. So wherever we go, He is there already.
And what does He do?
Well we could make a list of things he did in the Gospel… feed the hungry, heal the sick, teach his followers, challenge religious and political leaders, etc etc.
But more simply, we know from the Bible that all of these things fall under a simple overarching theme: LOVE.
Jesus loved every person He came into contact with. He brought light and life into every situation. He injected grace and goodness wherever he went.
And do should we.
That is why Jesus taught about love so much.
In summary, He says, “love God, love others.” And in case I wasn’t clear, “love each other… for that is how the world will know that you are my disciples.”
And if you aren’t sure what live really looks like, it is this: to lay your life down for your friend.
For your friend… your neighbor… and even your enemy.
WHAT DOES IT LOOK LIKE TO BECOME MORE LIKE HIM?
“Whoever says he abides in him ought to walk in the same way in which he walked.”
— 1 John 2:6