Saturday, April 25

What is a Disciple?
Mark 1:16–18 (ESV)

Jesus Calls the First Disciples

16   Passing alongside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and Andrew the brother of Simon casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen. 17   And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” 18   And immediately they left their nets and followed him.

Jesus calls his first disciples with an invitation, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men (people).” So, what is a disciple? Simply put, a disciple is someone who follows the teaching of another, so a better question is: What is a disciple of Jesus?

It is in this invitation that we find a framework for being a disciple of Jesus. A disciple of Jesus is a person who is…

1.       Committed to Following Jesus (“FOLLOW ME”)
2.       Committed to Being Changed By Jesus (“I WILL MAKE YOU BECOME”)
3.       Committed to Being On Mission With Jesus (“FISHERS OF PEOPLE”)

1. Follow Me: A disciple of Jesus must follow Jesus. It’s that simple. Jesus leads. We follow. Following means that we recognize and accept who Jesus is as Lord, leader, and master of our lives. Jesus gives us leadership and direction through His Word, and we follow by being obedient because Jesus is the One in charge.

Jesus never promised that this would be easy, or that we would not mess things up along the way, but he does promise us that he will never leave us or abandon us, but he will always be with us, even to the very end of the age ( Matt. 28:20 ). So a disciple is one who is committed to following Jesus.

2. And I Will Make You Become: These six words speak of a process of transformation where we become more like Christ, and it is a process that continues to take place for the rest of our lives. But notice, that it is Jesus who makes you become, it is Jesus who does the transforming. We know from other passages of Scripture that the disciples of Jesus are changed by Jesus, through the power of his Holy Spirit. The Lord transforms his disciples into something new, people who are different than they were when they first started following him. Romans 8:29 tells us that we are being conformed into the image of Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:17–18 promises that the Holy Spirit is transforming us into the image of the Lord.

If we read the Gospels and study the disciples of Jesus, we find that they often acted in ways that were selfish, rude, clueless, and immature. They were not spiritual giants; they were just regular guys with the same selfish, sinful struggles we all have. Jesus didn’t choose them to be his followers because they were anything special. He chose them with an eye to who they could become. Responding to the call to follow Jesus meant allowing him to unmake them and then remake them into his image — as his disciples. So, a disciple is one who is committed to being changed by Jesus.

3. Fishers of Men (People): Before meeting Jesus, Peter and Andrew had been fishers of fish, but Jesus changed that. From then on, they would be fishing for people. Jesus gave them a new purpose—to live out Jesus’ purpose by helping in God’s work of connecting disconnected people into a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus tells his disciples to go and make more disciples of all people, and since we are his disciples too, then it is also our job to be disciples who make disciples. This is what it means to be committed to being on mission with Jesus.

Putting it all together, we see that a disciple of Jesus is a person who is: 1) following Jesus; 2) being changed by Jesus; 3) committed to the mission of Jesus.

Prayer: Lord, Jesus Christ, thank you for inviting me to follow you. Thank you for changing my heart to be more like yours. Help me to follow you. Show me how I can participate in your mission of making disciples among the people that you have placed in my life. In your name, and by your strength, Lord Jesus. Amen.