When we read through the Bible, we often come across the term “disciple” in reference to Jesus’ followers. But why did Jesus choose to call them disciples? What does this term mean, and why is it significant?
Firstly, let’s define what a disciple is. The word “disciple” comes from the Latin word “discipulus,” which means student or learner. In the context of Jesus’ ministry, a disciple was someone who followed Him and learned from His teachings.
Jesus chose to call His followers disciples because He saw Himself as a teacher with a specific message to impart. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus commands His disciples to “make disciples of all nations.. teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” This shows that being a disciple of Jesus involves not only learning from Him but also sharing His teachings with others.
Furthermore, the term “disciple” has connotations of discipline and commitment. A disciple is someone who is willing to submit themselves to their teacher’s authority and guidance.
In Luke 9:23-24, Jesus says, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” This shows that being a disciple requires sacrifice and a willingness to put aside one’s own desires in order to follow Jesus.
Another reason why Jesus chose to call His followers disciples is that it emphasizes the importance of community and accountability. Disciples were not just individuals who learned from Jesus on their own; they were part of a larger group of believers who supported each other in their faith journeys. In Acts 2:42-47, we see how the early church functioned as a community of believers who shared their possessions and worshiped together regularly.
In conclusion, the term “disciple” captures the essence of what it means to follow Jesus – learning from His teachings, submitting oneself to His authority, sacrificing for His sake, and being part of a community of believers. As we strive to be disciples of Jesus ourselves, let us remember the example that He set for us and seek to follow Him with all our hearts.