What Is a Disciple?

And there went great multitudes with him: and he turned, and said unto them, If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:25-26

In the last portion of Luke, Chapter 14, Jesus says three times that a person cannot be His disciple unless certain conditions are met. This clearly shows that there is a difference between being one of God’s chosen by grace and being a disciple truly devoted to Him in their life.

There is a common misunderstanding about discipleship. A disciple is not just a person learning some theoretical information from a teacher. The relationship between a disciple and a master is an apprenticeship. The disciple is seeking to learn not only how his master does things but how he can act like his master.

Our duty is not just to learn about Jesus. Our duty is to learn how to act like Jesus and then do it.

One of the first criteria to being a disciple of Jesus is making Him the priority of our life. Jesus would certainly not teach against the fifth commandment and have us neglect our parents. Nor did He teach by word or example that we are not to be a blessing to our own family.

Therefore, to hate these people and ourselves does not mean that we do evil things to them. It means that they do not come first in our lives. Jesus should have such a high priority in our lives that it looks like we hate everything else.

What is interesting about this is, that when we truly are an apprentice of our Master, we will actually be more loving and compassionate on others. We still care for our family and friends but we do it in a faithful way. We give them the time and the things that they need rather than taking part in the worldly things that they want.

Again notice, Jesus does not give a spectrum of behaviors that show levels of discipleship. He has an “all in” requirement. Therefore, we need to have an all in attitude and commitment.

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