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Jesus’ disciples Essay

Discipleship

In this essay I am going to find out about Jesus’ disciples, how he choose them, who they were, what sacrifices and what a disciples job is, in addition to this whether it is possible to be a disciple in the modern-day.

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According to the Oxford Dictionary, a disciple is a “follower of a leader/teacher.

The first four disciples that Jesus choose were:

Simon, Andrew, James and John. The story of Jesus picking them is in Mk 1: 14-20. ” Jesus went to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God “The time has come” he said, “The Kingdom of God is near. Repent and believe the good news”

“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea, as they were fishermen. “Come follow me,” Jesus said “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him.

” When he had gone a little farther, he saw James and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay, he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.”

Another story that shows an example of Jesus appointing his disciples is shown in Mk 3 13:19. “Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted and they came to him. He appointed twelve and designated them as apostles, that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have the authority to drive out demons.

These are the twelve he appointed; Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, meaning the Sons of Thunder); Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James Son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.” In both these stories not one man even hesitated about giving everything they had up, they just gave up their lives for Jesus.

Prophets, Apostles, Teachers, Helpers, Healers. These were the names given to the twelve disciples. All twelve were normal, hardworking, everyday people and the majority were fishermen. Jesus chose the twelve ha did because they contained a lot of the qualities Jesus wanted of his disciples, such as commitment, loyalty and self-belief.

One disciple that was slightly different from the rest was Levi, the tax collector. In Mk 2:13-17, Jesus was beside the lake when a large crowd came to him and he began to teach them as he walked along he saw Levi Son of Alphaeus, “Follow me,” said to him at this Levi left his tax collectors box and followed him. Jesus and his disciples went for dinner at Levi’s house. Eating with them were many tax collectors and “sinners.”

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When the Pharisees and teachers of the law saw Jesus eating at a “sinners” house, they asked Jesus’ disciples ” Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?” On hearing this Jesus replied, ” It is not healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” These stories show how Jesus chose people to be a disciple no matter who they were or what they had done, they emphasize that everybody is equal.

Jesus got a lot of criticism for choosing Levi as a disciple as he did not contain the qualities Jesus usually looked for in a disciple, as Levi cheated a lot of people out of their money because he was tax collector. But Jesus did not care what people thought, his reply was “it’s not the healthy that need a doctor but the sick. I have not come for the righteous, but sinners.” This shows he believed that he came not only for the good but also the bad (everybody!), to help them change and become better people and to also help them strengthen their faith and belief.

All disciples responded to Jesus’ call in the same way, they all left everything they had from their family to their jobs and homes without question. The ultimate sacrifice was shown in Mk 8:34-35 when Jesus predicted his death. He said to his disciples “If anybody would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life, will lose it, but whoever loses his life for me and the gospel will save it.”

It is also shown in Mk 10:29-31 when Jesus asks his disciples to leave everything. “No one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters in mothers, children and fields- and with them persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life. But, many who are first will be last, and the last first.” Here Jesus is trying to show the disciples that if they leave all their things special to them, they will receive it a hundred times more in heaven.

It is clearly shown that Jesus expected a lot from his disciples. This is particularly shown in Mk 12:41-44 in this story a lot of rich men were giving large amounts of money to a collection when a poor widow came along and add a very small donation of two copper coins worth only a fraction of a penny. After this Jesus said to his disciples ” I tell you the truth, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others, they all gave out of their wealth, but she, out of her poverty, put in everything she had to live on.” This shows how he believed they should live without luxuries and give up all they had. This is also shown when he called the twelve, he said to them, ” Take nothing for the journey except a staff- no bread, no bag, no money in your belt. Wear sandals but not an extra tunic.

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Whenever you enter a house stay there until you leave the town. And any place will not welcome you or listen to you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave as a testimony against then.” The disciples then went out to preach that people should repent. They drove out demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them. These instructions if followed, along with sacrificing everything they valued, would surely mean that they would become good disciples.

It is clearly shown throughout Marks’s gospel, that the disciples had to give up everything from their possessions to their family and job. In today’s world, it would be very hard to do this because we rely on material things such as televisions, mobile phones and computers and in today’s modern world it would be hard to live without them. However, some ways in which people can follow Jesus is to sacrifice some of their personal time into helping others and showing people how Jesus wishes them to live. Another way in which we can help is to give to charity this will also help others who are more needly. We can also go to church and actively witness our faith in front of others.

People, who pledge to themselves that they will do these things, don’t often carry them out and so do not show ‘total’ commitment. Jesus did not want these kinds of people as his disciples he wanted people who would show ‘total’ commitment. Today we can do this by attending church regularly, take part in activities and continually show people how Jesus wished us to live. Another way which demands a lot more sacrifice is to become a Priest or a nun, if someone shows the total commitment they need to follow God in every way he wished for them to do. This is what Jesus expected of his twelve disciples.

Christians can suffer ridicule, verbal abuse and prejudice because of their beliefs, as can people from other religions. People who do not believe in the same God or scriptures often laugh or call people because of their faith. Christians also cause suffering to themselves, during Lent many Christians deprive themselves of their favourite food or drink in order to remember the suffering of Christ.

Many people sacrifice their time both to help others (doing voluntary work or helping to run clubs and charity groups) and to attend church services. Today time is one of our most precious things; most people have lots to do and not enough time to do it in, so to give up your time is one of the greatest sacrifices you can make.

Everyone could be a disciple of Jesus if they really wanted to many people choose not to because they don’t believe in God or believe he existed. Other people just don’t have the time. People’s attitudes could be changed if they were guaranteed a reward such as a place in heaven. If people would be prepared to put others before themselves’ attitudes could be changed. If attending church services were made more ‘fun’ people would be more likely to give up their time to attend church.

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Many people do not realize how rewarding helping others can be, by helping someone needy you can feel a sense of satisfaction. Some people may not know very much about God or Christianity and therefore cannot make an informed choice, if there were brought up by a family who did not attend church and believe in God they would not have much knowledge of Christianity and it’s beliefs. To overcome this problem we need to encourage more people to attend church and learn about God.

Every baptized member of a church is known as a ‘lay’ person. They are all encouraged to use their talents and gifts in the ‘Body of Christ’ (church). For example, if somebody has a gift for working with figures they could help the priest with the books and somebody has a talent for working with people they can help set up a youth group or a club. The church encourages people to do this and help their community. We can also help within a wider community by looking after the environment so it is suitable for everybody to live in we could also promote our Christian views and beliefs.

I don’t think that I could decide one way or another whether I agree or not with the statement, “it is not possible to be a true disciple in the modern world,” because for each argument there is a large range, of reasons for why people do agree or disagree.

Some people believe it is possible to be a modern-day disciple and disagree with the statement. These people have to be fully committed and dedicated. It is especially hard for young people to be fully committed because of peer pressure, going to church isn’t ‘cool’ or the ‘in thing ‘ to do.

Today everything is based on proof, if something hasn’t been proved people tend not to believe it and since Religion is about faith, and faith cannot be proved, most scientific people do not believe in Jesus and his miracles.

30-50 years ago religion was a great priority in people’s lives. they had more faith and believed what they were told by their elders. Most people attended church regularly and it had a far greater influence on people’s lives. If people could be so dedicated then why can’t they be now? Why can’t people be good disciples like they were years ago, and believe without questioning?

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