Posted: 17 December, 2008 in Ponderings
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Depending on which end of the faith you are at, the word “discipleship” will either bring a positive sense of a hope and future as a disciple or a negative silent dread of long hours of study, hard work and sacrifices. While believing and giving our lives to our Lord Jesus is incredibly simple yet joyful, but that soon end once “serious discipleship” get stuffed into the picture. Sounds familiar?

While not discounting the cost of being followers of Christ, we want to re-look with an alternative view at what it really meant to be disciples from the Bible.

Discipleship, Shoreline Study

The root word disciple, in the Greek term maqhthv” (matheˉteˉs) refers generally to any “student,” “pupil,” “apprentice,” or “adherent,” as opposed to a “teacher.” In the ancient world, however, it is most often associated, with people who were devoted followers of a religious leader or teacher of philosophy, not found only in Christianity. In modern times, it is common to hear that there are disciples and followers of some gurus, monks, yoga masters, self-help writers, even financial protégées. So what differences between disciples of Christ and the disciples of others? Are the method of learning, progress and result the same?



Like lab experiments, the world system manufactures a series of methods, processes, sequences and procedures to produce a desired result. Their objective of all their learning and discipleship is the reproduction of the predetermined and desired outcome. Whether people are trying to attain wisdom, knowledge, health, prosperity or martial superiority, they are trying to follow an impersonal prescribed route to achieve it. Is this the kind of discipleship Jesus taught?

But if you remain in me and my words remain in you, you may ask for anything you want, and it will be granted! When you produce much fruit, you are my true disciples. This brings great glory to my Father. John 15:7-8

True discipleship is not only about learning the Way, finding the Truth and seeing the Light but more importantly to remain or dwell in the person of Jesus who is the very Way, Truth and Light. True discipleship is not about a set of rules or formulas, even if the objective is noble; it is a life learning of love, to love and to please God out of love. True discipleship is not a book of dos and don’ts; it is a relationship in love; not only with God but with each other as well.   Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. John 13:34-35

Discipleship, discipleshipstrategy[1]

Don’t make the mistake of putting the cart before the horse, stacking lifeless matter on top of living ones. Discipleship trainings although have its place within our Christian faith, but it is useless without love and a personal relationship with God. Without love, ‘discipleship’ becomes rules and laws, and will ultimately kill your faith.

Good disciples of Christ I believe are not the ones who fear their own failures and sins, feeling inadequate in service or growth, they may not be the most religious or active; but they are the ones who focus solely on Jesus Christ and know in whatever situation, God still love them the most and know they are His most precious. Like the loving Father in the Prodigal Son, grace and love abounds that we can never understand. But if you work and serve out of duty without love, like the lost older son, you would have missed it.

John in his gospel knows this truth, he refer himself as “the disciple whom Jesus loved“, see here.

God is love, and all who live in love live in God, and God lives in them. And as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. 1 John 4:16-17

I believe this is the real essence of discipleship and the foundation of our Great Commission.

  1. Excellent content here and a nice writing style too – keep up the great work!

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