Rarely discussed or even used!
The biblical word “disciple” is rarely discussed or even used today at church from the pulpit and among believers.
If used or taught at church then this very important word “disciple” is mostly understood as “follower” or “to be a follower of Christ”.
If I would ask most of you right now what does this word “disciple” mean then you would probably give me the same answer “follower” or “to be a follower of Christ”.
But to be a follower is not being a disciple or a disciple of Christ.
Ten to be a follower is a wrong concept?
No, it is not!
To be a follower or a follower of Christ is biblical.
It is actually a rabbinical concept because to be a disciple of a rabbi/teacher, when chosen by the rabbi, is about following/staying connected with the rabbi, for the purpose of being discipled by him with great honor and reverence.
Again, there is no problem saying, that you are a follower of Jesus Christ, but for what purpose are you follower of the great Rabbi Jesus Christ is the big question which will be defined by the word “disciple”.
What does the word “disciple” really mean?
First of all let`s read the following about the word “disciple”, just to keep you on your toes:
. The real meaning of the word “disciple” will give you the reason why so many believers don’t
use this word too often in their vocabulary.
. The real meaning of the word “disciple” will give you the very reason why believers prefer
to say they are mere “followers of Christ” instead of identifying with the real meaning of the
. The real meaning of the word “disciple” will give you an overview about why some pastors
are hesitant to use it, for the fear of loosing people of his local church.
The word “disciple” in the Greek* is “Mathetes” which means...
... to be - a learned (willing, desiring to learn)
... to be - a Scholar (a learner or erudite person, especially one who has profound knowledge of a particular subject)
... to be - a pupil (a person, usually young, who is learning under the close supervision of a teacher at school,
a private tutor, or the like; Student)
... to be - a disciple (a learner who learns and follows his teacher's teaching)
Remark what it does not say:
~ to be - a Follower ~
* In the Hebrew it would be to long to explain but disciple (Talmidim/Limmuwd)
means to be a learner under a teacher, a rabbi.
We are believers so we are responsible!
Now, if you are saved and sealed by the Holy Spirit then you are a disciple of Christ, meaning that you are a learner, scholar, pupil, which is the true definition of the word “disciple”.
It also means that everyone of us as believers, are responsible to honor what Christ has done and what He wants us to become as His disciples through a local church with a pastor or through a Bible School for the purpose of ministering later in a local church under a pastor or as a pastor.
We are responsible believers because we are all disciples of Christ and if you never realized this then welcome in the church** of Christ, the “called out” to become (to be discipled) ministers of our Lord Jesus Christ.
** Church in the Greek Ecclesia means “the called out“.
Anyway, this will be one of those words I will present to you in Words Study soon enough.
Not easily accepted!
The true meaning of the word “disciple” is sadly but true (a fact) not very well accepted, we don’t want to hear about it, because it causes us to become highly responsible when we prefer to follow a lower form of responsibility.
For so many believers the word “disciple” has become a taboo and is replaced by the word “follower”.
Well, this is called “deception” and causes the church to be more and more ineffective.
As for pastors, to build up believers under the real meaning of the word “disciple” is a lot of work combined with the fear of loosing people because this topic is not really interesting for many believers today and not enough entertaining.
Also the pastor can be afraid to loose people because if they are trained/discipled for the ministry, he is at risk of loosing them for the benefit of the ministry somewhere else.
Well, there is a dictum which says that a good pastor is a pastor who will loose his job because believers who are discipled under him will leave someday to be ministers of the Lord or if they don`t leave then the pastor will have to loose some of his responsibilities in the church which cause him to be insecure, fearing to loose control.
But the truth is that all believers must mature to minister in the local church or somewhere else and no pastors will loose their job because there will always be or should be a flow of new believers in the local church year after year for the purpose to disciple them for the ministry of the Great Commission of Christ.
Look, I can almost see you arguing in your head insisting about being a follower of Christ.
Of course we are all followers of Christ but for what purpose?
The key word “disciple” defines clearly our purpose of being followers of Christ.
But to stay with the concept of just being a follower of Christ you will achieve not much and I can guaranty you, that it will cause you to repel the true meaning of the word “disciple”.
Instead, always remember that we follow the Great Rabbi Jesus Christ for the purpose of being discipled/to learn and to become His ministers/ambassadors on earth.
For a neat copy then go to "Downloads"
and press on the PDF button for a download
or a print out.