The word disciple simply means student.
When we think of students, we probably think of a classroom setting. But instead of classrooms, students in the time of Jesus learned by following a rabbi (teacher).
And when we say follow, they literally followed. They went where the teacher went, imitated his words and actions, learned through asking questions and conversing, and even went out on missions to instruct others but always came back to their rabbi to report results and receive more instruction.
In our church you will hear the word disciple often. There’s a good reason for that. The word Christian only appears in the bible a few times. The word disciple is found over 250 times.
Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether we call ourselves disciples, Christians, believers, or brothers and sisters. What matters is that we strive to live up to the standard that Jesus called his followers to and that we don’t create double standards.
As you’ll see in the following verses, Jesus didn’t create levels of Christianity. He expects everyone who would follow him to have the same devotion and learner’s heart that his first disciples had. Through his word, he’s still leading us as his disciples! So let’s go to the Jesus school and sit at the feet of the greatest teacher the world has ever seen.