There are a ton of words and phrases that we use to describe our view and vision of what a disciple is and what discipleship means. Even among our own ministry we have used a plethora of different words to demonstrate how we talk about being a disciple or discipling others. Paul says in Corinthians 11:1 “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”
Being a disciple is someone who has submitted to Jesus and seeks to become like Him. Discipleship is imitating a mentor (disciple) who imitates Jesus.
If we were to take a look at discipleship at the time of Jesus we would see his talmidim (disciples) following him everywhere, imitating his every word and his every action. The desire of a talmid (disciple) was to know what the rabbi knew, in order to do what the rabbi did, in order to be just like their rabbi in his walk with God. Perhaps this gives new meaning to the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Jesus says to his talmidim, “go do the same things that we have been doing the last three years. Just as I taught you, as we have lived life along side of each other, go teach others. Walk along side of them, live life with them, continue to imitate me so that in imitating you, they will be imitating me.”
Submit to Jesus and become like him and we can do this by imitating a mentor (disciple) who imitates Jesus.