A disciple is a student who follows the teachings and practices of a teacher. Consequently, we can say that Christian discipleship is a lifelong journey of living out and spreading the good news of Jesus Christ so that others may believe. Jesus invited the disciples to embark on a faith journey as they learned about his ministry. Each disciple responded with a resounding “Yes!”
There are no physical marks that identify a disciple, only practices that disciples engage in as they follow Jesus. Jesus the teacher invited the disciples to join him for the journey, and then he modeled for them seven practices that we can call the seven marks of discipleship: praying, studying, worshiping, inviting, encouraging, serving, and giving. They are all essential to effectively accomplishing Jesus’ Great Commission in today’s world.
We too are invited to embark on this faith journey. Jesus has left for us a trail of examples of how disciples are meant to carry out the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19–20) and the great command (Acts 1:8). It is an intentional act to claim the life of a disciple and the seven marks of discipleship. It is a lifelong commitment that we travel with Jesus.
Tomorrow: Praying the Lord’s Prayer
This message was adapted from the “Lessons for Today’s Disciples” resource written by Valora K. Starr and available from the Women of the ELCA. The resource is also available in Spanish.