What is Discipleship? Essay
What is Discipleship?
A dictionary’s definition of a disciple is someone who believes and follows the teachings and laws of another person. A Christian disciple is someone who believes and follows the teachings and laws of Jesus Christ. During the past 2000 years Jesus has obtained more and more followers because priest, monks and all clergy included, but most importantly us, the normal working class people, have continued to preach in his vast absence. If you asked a person do you preach about Jesus they will say no but we do this so much it has become common phrase and we don’t realise the vast amount of times we mention his name or anything relevant to him.
Mark gospel tells of Jesus’ first disciples begin two fishermen who happened to be brothers. But all gospels alike tell of these men leaving every worldly possession they had and without a doubt following Jesus. This shows that Jesus had a certain degree of authority over the people of whom he met. But many other people believed it was not authority it was a certain charisma, which he possessed, that drove these disciples to their destiny. Although these people immediately follow Jesus also had his failures for example the story of the Rich Man (10:17-31). Marks gospel tells of a man running up to Jesus and asking what he must do to achieve eternal life Jesus reply’s by telling him of the 10 commandments which the man says he has followed them all his life, Jesus then tells him to
” Go sell all you have and give the money you have to the poor, and come follow me.”
But the man disappointed, as he was walk away with a gloom face. I believe this is a very important passage in marks gospel because we can patch in many pieces of the puzzle that is Jesus so that we can get one step closer to the origin of our religion. Firstly this proves a very important point that a man who has everything will give nothing but expect everything in return. Secondly another very important lesson is also learnt in this passage that although Jesus was a god through his 34 years on earth he had learnt some human qualities. Finally this also shows that Jesus had many powers but he was still unable to save some of us from our own stubborness and need for useless luxuries, whilst many poor people try to struggle through life without the basic necessities like food and clean water.
As most people know there are two types of disciples: firstly there is full time disciples. An example of a full time disciple is a priest or someone who has dedicated their life to preaching the good news of god, this means that you give up all your life prospects, like marriage and having kids, to join the clergy. This is a grave sacrifice but anyone who makes such a sacrifice is repaid by eternal life in the vast amount of treasures in heaven. Secondly there is a part time disciple. This is someone who whilst living a normal life of work, marriage, kids, and attend church on Sundays but also unnoticeably spread the good news of god as common phrase.
Most Christians don’t realise that they are disciples and if asked what a disciple is they would probably rhythm off the 12 apostles because they don’t realise that every single Christian is a disciple. Mark uses the 12 apostles as an example of discipleship but these are not the only disciples, he used these men as models to give an example of what true hardships that followed anyone who ”bore the cross of suffering” just like Jesus so plainly explained.
When Jesus chose his disciples he did not choose them simply to preach the word of god he chose them for many reasons. Firstly as I already mentioned Jesus had learnt many human qualities whilst on earth and one of the things that most humans can relate to with each other is the need for friends and to be around people you know and like. Jesus like us shared this quality so he chose his disciples to be his friends and to aid him in times of trouble or hardship. Secondly the most common one that most people know is to help spread the word of god and to carry on his message when Jesus had to meet his destine and take apon his cross and face his mockery, denial, and suffering. Finally Jesus needed his disciples to cast out the evil spirits that roamed about the earth at that time.
In Marks gospel it told of the disciples going through three stages; the first stage the disciple went through was enthusiasm this is shown when Jesus calls his first disciples (1:14-20) because they immediately followed Jesus without a negative thought. The second stage the disciples went through was misunderstanding. This starts when Jesus feeds five thousands people at lake Galilee (6:30-44).
This is because for a normal person this is impossible and it becomes hard for them to believe that Jesus was different because they looked at Jesus as being a normal person because they were his friends and they had known him for so long. The third stage that the disciples had to surpass in order to become true Christian disciples was failure. An example of this failure was when peter denied Jesus (14:66-72). In this verse peter denied his relations with Jesus because he feared for his life. This shows that after all the time Jesus spent training the disciples for the hardships he knew they would have to face they still failed to stand up like men and say that they knew Jesus and face they consequences like Jesus had done.
Christian discipleship to some people is nothing more than a name from which discrimination and racial tension arose from and take it into there own hands to fight with any other religion which differs from Christianity. There are also the narrow mined people think that to be a Christian disciple these days is to go to mass on Sundays but this is far from true. Discipleship today involves a few very important factors; Firstly disciples today like in Jesus’ time have to go through a call. This call happens when a Christian is young, and as most people know its called Baptism, this is when you are first excepted into the Christian religion.
The second is the response this is weather you decide to follow Jesus’ example and live like the way he believed in so greatly he fought and died for. The third thing that a Christian must do is to chose weather to be a part time or full time (Join the clergy and become a priest, nun or even a brother) disciple. Although most people now days choose the easy way out and become a part time disciple and get married and have kids. As a disciple you are required to be with Jesus through regular prayer, you are required preach and spread the word of god, oppose evil and to live a holy life without devilish temptation. All these points are essential to live life as true disciple.
In my opinion a very good example of a modern day disciple is a doctor or a nurse. This is because a doctor has dedicated his/her life to helping people and curing sickness. Doctors take it apon themselves to helping the people of this earth and they even participate in bring gods children into the world so in a way they help the reproduction of discipleship. They could be described as full time disciple because they work 48 hours a week in hospitals and without doctors in this world it would certainly decrease the number of Christian disciples. Another example of a modern disciple is a nun. Nuns can be described as teachers because they spread the good word of god and as full time disciples they willingly take up a life of prayer and celibacy.
I have discovered that there is not a lot of difference in the disciples Jesus chose and the disciples of today. Jesus did not choose holy people to be his disciples he chose zealots, tax collectors, and even thief’s, the very men he was sent to save, but all these men were looked upon as bad people but this does not make them unworthy to carry gods message.
He chose these people to show that you don’t have be holy and live without all temptations like television, computers or all the modern gadgets that are known to this day it just means that no matter how bad you think you are always helps to keep you faith. Jesus’ disciples had a mission, to preach, heal, anoint the sick, and even cast out demons; they also had many sacrifices to undergo. But all we are to do is to go to mass and pray daily, although this seem a lot a whole 1 hour of mass a week but this all adds up in the for the amount treasures that heaven hold is endless. For Jesus said that if you left behind you brothers you would one hindered more brothers in heaven or if you left behind your friends, in heaven you would receive one times more friends this also applies to anyone who makes this grave sacrifice on earth.
University/College: University of Chicago
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 13 September 2017
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