BECOMING A DISCIPLE OF CHRIST

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BECOME A DISCIPLE?  We find the word lamud (pronounced law-mad) in the Old Testament. It’s meaning: instructed, skillful, used.  Descendants from the lineage of Aaron of the tribe of Levi trained in the temples under the Levitical priesthood, but they were not referred to as disciples.  There is only one reference to training followers in the Old Testament.  Isaiah 8:16 “Preserve the teaching of God, entrust His instructions to those who follow Me”. In the New Testament, we find “disciple” matheteuo (pronounced math-ayt-yoo-o) used several times. It’s meaning: to follow, to become a pupil who enrolls to train constantly towards becoming a scholar.  Particularly in the gospels of Matthew and Luke, Jesus gives us the requirements of being a disciple.  In the gospel of John and book of Acts, we see “disciple” referring to certain followers of Jesus when not named.  Notable is that the disciples were no longer referred to as such in the Epistles as they were now Apostles.   In the beginning of His ministry, Jesus appointed (determine, ordain) twelve… that they might be with Him, and He might send them out to preach, to have power to heal, and to cast out demons” Mark 3:14.  He extended the invitation, Mark 1:17 “Come follow Me” and they responded by leaving all behind to join themselves to the Master. These disciples lived day and night with Jesus and were taught daily in all that Jesus did.  This is where our ministry begins. Once we have been made spiritually new creations, Christ in us, we remain now to be discipled and to disciple. We share those things that we have learned by the Word and the Holy Spirit. Wasn’t it wonderful to share our born again experience with others, even though we were babes in understanding?  The Lord has promised to conform us to the image of Jesus Christ if we will allow Him. Matt 28:16-20  “And the eleven disciples went into Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had appointed (ORDAINED) them.  And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him. But some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, All authority is given to Me in Heaven and in earth. Therefore go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things, whatever I commanded you. And, behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the world. Amen. ”  Luke 6:40 “ The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.   (PERFECT: perfectly joined)  Certainly with the resurrection of Jesus, the disciples now became as their master, preaching and teaching new converts to discipleship.  This is our purpose in action; to obey the Great Commission and labor habitually and firmly in your calling whereby you were chosen by God.