What is a DISCIPLE?

A disciple is a normal, everyday person

“They were ordinary people like you and me. They had jobs, families, hobbies, and social lives.
​As they went about their business on the day Jesus called them, none of them would have expected his life to change so quickly and completely”
-Francis Chan, Multiply p. 15

There is a perception, by many, that to be a disciple means that you must be a pastor or some other type of “professional” christian. In order to be a disciple you must go to seminary or a private christian school. This in fact is not the case. You do NOT have to be a “professional” christian, though you do have to profess Christ, but rather a disciple, on the outside, might not seem anything other than normal.

Peter, Andrew, James and John were all trade or blue-collar workers. They were rough, strong and probably had calloused hands that they used to make a living. Our church is full of those who make a living with their hands. The truth is these workers aren’t so normal anymore. The number of people willing to do these jobs is in decline. The perceived lack of intelligence and the general lack of recognition for people in these jobs are largely to blame (even though they can be some of the most secure, best paying jobs). In the world, often times, these blue collar workers are overlooked, but Jesus clearly did not overlook you. Jesus himself called out to a group of blue-collar workers saying; “Follow me”. In saying this Jesus is offering these men unlimited access to himself. They might not know it in the moment but Jesus is offering them not just a first class seat on the greatest journey ever, but also a vital and active job on the greatest building project the world has ever seen.   Mark 1:16-34 (See also: Matt 4:18-22Luke 5:1-11)

Matthew was a white-collar worker.

Sleezy. Underhanded. Will do anything to get ahead. Lazy. Just in it for the money. Greedy. All of these words and phrases have been used to describe “white-collar” workers. For Matthew, it's likely all of these were true. Matthew was a tax collector. Tax collectors were especially maligned during the time that Jesus walked the Earth. It's no secret people hate paying money to the government. In addition to this, tax collectors were Jews working for the oppressive Roman empire. Sleezy? Check. Also, tax collectors were known for skimming some money off the top. Greedy? Check.

Yet, Jesus encounters Matthew in the midst of what he did on a daily basis and says, “follow me.” This is not an endorsement of unethical business practices but it is a call for a broken man to experience all of life walking with Jesus. (Matthew 9:9)

Jesus calls all of his disciples to go out into the world and make disciples. It's not just the trained, the educated, the religious, the eloquent, the strong, or the influential. It is all of his disciples. When we see the differences among the disciples that Jesus initially called to follow him; we see that literally anybody could become a disciple of Jesus. Peter was the blue-collar worker that used his hands to make a living, that about 3 years later lead thousands to faith in Jesus with one speech. Matthew was the greedy tax collector that went on to write an account of Jesus’s life and ministry that is the first book of the New Testament. They were normal men that Jesus called while they were doing what they normally do.

Each of us go into the world to do what we normally do. Are you a trade worker? Are you a business man? Stay at home mom? Whatever it is that you normally do, Jesus calls out to you right there. Jesus meets you exactly where you are in life. Will you then respond like Matthew and Peter? Will you dedicate yourself to introducing others to Jesus right where they are? Will you use your common normalcy to help others to grow in faith and trust in Jesus and take part, like the original disciples, in the greatest building project known to man? Jesus's church.

“Being a disciple of Christ, in other words, does not begin with something we do.
​It begins with something Christ did.”
-Mark Dever Discipling, p. 14