Who is a Disciple?
In week 3 of our series Disciple-Making Mission we were reminded through the Scriptures that disciple-making is a work of the Father, set in motion by Jesus (the Son), and empowered by the Spirit. This is not a work that we are tasked with doing alone, but one that falls in line with the mission of God to bring glory to Himself.
We read Matthew 4.17-22 and saw Jesus preaching a message of repentance and calling the first disciples to follow him. Andrew, Peter, James, and John’s immediate obedience to leave everything and follow Jesus provides the backdrop for the question: Who is a disciple? We answered this from the Bible as “someone who is following Jesus.” We took time to give biblical understanding to what it meant to follow Jesus, and distinguished between just believing in Jesus and actually following Jesus.
A disciple is someone who is learning from Jesus and walking in obedience to His words and ways. As we follow Jesus, empowered by the Spirit, we see several distinguishing characteristics of disciples of Jesus:
Disciples of Jesus hear His voice and follow Him with joy because they are known, loved, and secure in His presence.
Disciples of Jesus are growing in Christ-likeness.
Disciples of Jesus bear spiritual fruit.
Disciples of Jesus display a passion for God and compassion for people.
Disciples of Jesus consistently count the cost of discipleship.
Disciples of Jesus are active members of a local church (body of Christ).
Questions for discussion:
- As you read through Matthew 4.17-22 and listen to the sermon, what do you sense the Lord saying to you? What about to our church?
- What things from the passage encourage you? Are there some things that challenge you?
- How does seeing that disciple-making is a work of God motivate you as you think about following Jesus and making disciples?
- How does the the biblical definition of a disciple encourage and challenge you?
- Which characteristic(s) of a disciple were you most challenged by?
- How does the gospel speak to this as Jesus calls us to repentance as we follow Him?