There is no exact definition in the Bible that will describe exactly what a disciple is. One thing is very clear when Jesus called his disciples “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. (Matthew 4:19)” A disciple needs to follow the one who called them. And since it was Jesus Christ who called us, then we are to follow Jesus Christ.
But the game doesn’t end there. Because Christ called us to be “fishers of men” and not continually become a fish.
Luke 6:40 “A disciple is not greater than his teacher, but everyone when fully trained will be like his teacher.”
In this description, we can see that a disciple is someone being taught, and not the one teaching. His knowledge is more limited than that of his teacher. However, when fully trained, he will be like his teacher. This means that if his teacher can teach, he can definitely teach when fully trained.
Luke 14:25-27 “25 Now large crowds were accompanying Jesus, and turning to them he said, 26 “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sisters, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. 27 Whoever does not carry his own cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
Here we can see that Jesus is giving an instruction concerning our priorities. Of course this doesn’t necessary mean to literally hate his own father and mother, and wife and children, and brothers and sisters, and even his own life, it simply means that we need to love him ABOVE all.
Furthermore, new believers that comes from extremely closed culture, closed family, and closed religious backgrounds usually suffers a lot when it comes to Christianity, being his new found faith. People around the new believer will criticize him, mock him, and even cast him out from their relationship. But this is what Jesus Christ have said. Thus, a disciple “HAS” to make a decision whom to obey, his family or Jesus.
And this is something to bear since Jesus said, “Whoever does not carry his own cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.
To summarize this point, a disciple of Christ is someone who loves Christ more than the rest of his family.
Luke 14:33 “33 In the same way therefore not one of you can be my disciple if he does not renounce all his own possessions.“
Sometimes, it is not family nor relationship that hinders us to become a disciple of Christ. Sometimes, it is our wealth, our possessions. And here we can see that Jesus made an emphasis against our possessions.
A disciple therefore should love Christ more than his possession.
John 8:31-32 31 Then Jesus said to those Judeans who had believed him, “If you continue to follow my teaching, you are really my disciples 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
This passage tells us that being a disciple requires “Continuous Obedience”. Obedience means following Jesus’ teachings. With the conitnuous obedience, we will know that truth, and such truth will set us free.
Here we see a passage that tells us about the authenticity of being a disciple of Christ. As we continue to obey God’s word and as we continue to follow his teachings, it proves that we are his disciple and we will know the truth and the truth will set us free.
John 13:34-35 34 “I give you a new commandment – to love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. 35 Everyone will know by this that you are my disciples – if you have love for one another.”
A disciple is loving towards other people and especially to his fellow brethren in Christ. Jesus is giving us a command here to be loving toward others. And by doing this, we are showing the people around us that we are Christ’s disciple.
Loving for one another is setting up an evidence that we God’s.
John 15:8 8 My Father is honored by this, that you bear much fruit and show that you are my disciples.
A disciple bears much fruit. The main context of the passage is about the vine and the branches. Christ is the Vine and we are the branches. If a branch doesn’t bear fruit it is cut off from the vine and then thrown into fire. Now, this tells us that as disciples we have to understand that we are suppose to bear fruit.
But what kind of fruit? The context suggest that it refers to the fruits of the Holy Spirit. The fruits of the Holy Spirit can be found at Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.”
Another thing that we can see in this passage is that, being a disciple tells us that we there should be some result of Christ’s teachings in our life. It does not just end at the acceptance of Jesus Christ but continuously work in our life until such time that fruits can be seen in our lives.