‘I put to you the duty of doing all that you have been told…’ – 1Tim 6.14
A disciple is one who has had a transformational encounter with Jesus Christ and has made a conscious decision to follow Him.
The call of discipleship is life-changing. It rearranges all our priorities, our motivations, our wants and our desires. The more we are drawn into the transformative love of Jesus, the more we find that our hearts change. Our focus moves towards the love of God and the love of others.
How might we understand the call of discipleship today? To quote Fr James Mallon, author of Divine Renovation:
“In Church culture, we often use terms such as ‘disciple’ or ‘apostle’ without understanding the meaning of these words, but ‘disciple’ is so key to our mandate from Jesus that we ought to know its meaning. The word in Greek for ‘disciple’ is mathetes, which, in turn, comes from the verb manthanein, meaning ‘to learn’ (think of the term ‘math’). To be a disciple is to be a learner. To be a disciple of Jesus Christ is to be engaged in a lifelong process of learning from and about Jesus the master, Jesus the teacher. The English term ‘disciple’ comes from the Latin discipulus, and provides the connotation that this learning process is not haphazard, but intentional and disciplined. To become a disciple is to commit to such a process of growth.” [p20]
The call of discipleship really is the call of a lifetime. We never stop learning. We continue to pour out our life and love in new and creative ways. How may we respond to this call today?