In the dictionary a disciple is defined as:’Someone who believes and helps to spread the doctrine of another; one who receives instruction from another; a scholar; a learner; especially one who has learned to believe in the doctrine of the teacher.’This is still an accurate description for Jesus’ first disciples; they did all these things and more under considerable hardship.For his first disciples Jesus chose a variety of people, there were ordinary people from simple backgrounds, fishermen, a tax collector, a zealot and others. He chose twelve to represent the twelve tribes of Israel, which formed the centre of Judaism. The group of people he chose would not normally have got along, nor would they have been expected to. There were barriers built between them, tax collectors worked for the Romans and were scorned by other Jews, but zealots had an even more intense hatred for Romans and actively opposed their rule. Nonetheless these barriers were overcome between the disciple’s, which was a microcosm of what they were setting out to teach the rest of the world,’Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you’ ~(Matt.
5:44)We know that the first disciples reacted immediately to their calling from the passage ‘The Call of the First Disciples’,’Jesus said to Simon and Andrew the fishermen- “Come follow me and I will make u fishers of men,” at once they left their nets and followed him.He saw James son of Zebedee and his brother John in a boat, preparing their nets. Without delay he called them and they left their father in the boat with the hired man and followed him’ ~(Mk. 1:16-20)Being a disciple was the early disciple’s entire life, to become disciples they had left all those they loved and given up everything they owned, but this was only what Jesus expected of them, for he said to the rich young man-“One thing you lack. Go, sell everything you have and give to the poor, and then you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” ~(Mk. 10:21)Someone who showed a good example of what Jesus expected of us was the widow at the treasury.
She was very poor yet still gave to the collection even though she could not afford it.”I tell you the truth the poor widow has put the most in the collection. The others gave out of their riches, but she has put in all she has.” ~ (Mk 12:14-44)This shows the apostles that they should gave all they have to God and put their faith Him, for they must show total commitment to their faith, the church and to Jesus if they are to be accepted into the kingdom of God. The widow’s example was one of absolute humility, something they should all aim for.
Being a disciple also entailed going out and preaching to the masses, and whenever Jesus sent the apostles out to do this he would send them out in two’s. This was so as when one was in need of help, support or advice the other could provide it.”Calling the twelve to him, he sent them out two by two and gave them authority over evil spirits” ~ (Mk 6:7-13)This means to evangelise, to spread the word of Jesus. They must preach their faith to the gentiles and spread the good news of the Kingdome of God.The disciples were expected to have absolute faith as we can tell from the calming of the storm. “He then said to the disciples, ‘Why are you afraid? Do you still have no faith?'” This shows that the disciples should show complete trust in God. We also know that the disciples were expected to love God and all other men with all their hearts, for when Jesus was Asked what is the greatest commandment he replied,” Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one.
Love the lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: Love your neighbour as yourself. There is no greater commandment than these.” ~ (Mk 12:29-31)This shows that the disciples had to develop their love of God and love of their neighbour. The disciples should also share in Jesus’ example of word and good deeds, they should “preach and drive out demons.”They must do all this to attain the ultimate reward, which is eternal life. “I tell you the truth, no-one who has left home or brother or sisters or mothers or fathers or children or fields for me and the gospel will not fail to receive 100 times as much in this present age and in the age to come, eternal life. But many who are first will be last and many who are last will be first” ~ (Mk 10:28-31)However the rewards are not without costs.
The disciples would have to break family ties and be prepared to die as martyrs for their faith. Many disciples were killed at the time of Nero. “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” They are also to forget the material ideals imposed by society.One disciple who, despite his faults, tried to follow all the teachings of Christ was Peter. The name Peter comes from the word petros, which means ‘rock’. He was originally called Simon but Jesus changed it as he was to be the ‘Rock’ upon which the church was built. He did believe in Jesus as we can tell from when he was asked and who do you think I am? His reply was, “You are Christ”.
However he also denies Jesus three times (Mk 14:26-31 and Mk 14:66-71), this shows that he was still human and was only trying to save himself from danger, yet he was sorry afterwards since he broke down and cried. We can tell Jesus forgave him because he was sent to Galilee with the rest of the disciples. This shows Christians today that even if they stay they will still be forgiven if they repent.The role of the early Christians was to spread the word of Jesus across the entire world and build the Kingdom. Jesus sends them out to do this at the end of the Gospel,”Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptised will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.” ~ (Mk 16:15-16)The disciples were given the role to create God’s Kingdom on earth, and they maintained and spread the word so that the Kingdome has grown as large as it has.AO2How do Christians Today Interpret DiscipleshipDiscipleship can be lived through love of God.
We can show our love to God by keeping the commandments. The greatest commandments according to Jesus are:1) Love the lord your God with all your heart with all your soul with all your mind and with all you strength2) Love your neighbour as you love yourself.We also show our love for God through prayer where we thank and show our belief and love in God. We go on pilgrimages to spread the love of God and to show obedience and appreciation in God. In our liturgical year we celebrate special masses like at Christmas Advent, Lent and most importantly Easter. In Lent we go off something we like or pray more to try to understand some of what Jesus went through in the desert for forty days and forty nights with temptation. At Christmas we spread the love of God through giving alms.
Finally we pray more at Easter to remember what Jesus did for us, give up his life.Discipleship can also be lived today in the laity were we can fulfil our priestly roles. To do this we must remember the sacrifice that Jesus made for us, which is remembered when we receive the Eucharist which means ‘Thanksgiving’ for what Jesus done for us.The priestly role of the laity also entails sacrificing time to others like praying for the sick, listening to someone’s problems and organising time to fundraise for charity.Lay people can also support the priest in a parish by prayer, giving out communion and reading at mass. They can also co-operate in preaching the word of God to the parish by instruction.
The lay people can offer special skills i.e. building or setting up a youth club or management and accounting.Discipleship can be lived today when lay people fulfil there prophetic role. The lay people fulfil their prophetic role when the ‘Passing of Faith’ occurs. “The parents are the foremost educators of their children,” this means that parents teach their children more than any other source and are normally were they learn of Christ.
Lay people are also called to explain the principles Christ taught, by reading in church, missionary work and teaching Gods message.Also the laity are called to carry on and uphold Christ’s teachings through prayer, faith and love of God and neighbours. They are also asked to apply Christ’s teachings to problem’s affecting society, such as violence, drugs, crime, homelessness and poverty. The prophetic role also entails being fully initiated into the faith through baptism, the Eucharist and Confirmation. Discipleship can also be lived today when the laity fulfils their kingly role.
We fulfil our kingly role through ‘Orthopraxis’ which means putting faith into action, “to practice what you preach”.We all work as co-creators of Gods kingdom and are responsible for it. We should all strive for justice, peace and equality.Ways in which we can do this is by signing petitions against wars and supporting groups CAFOD and Trocaire who aim to help those living in poverty and in need. CAFOD’s motto is, “Give a man a fish feed him for a day, teach a man to fish feed him for a life time.
” What all these charities teach us is compassion for other people and to treat others as we ourselves would like to be treated.The sacrament of reconciliation also shows discipleship in today’s world. “Forgive our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.” This means to show forgiveness to others if you want Jesus to forgive your sins.
Youth link helps teens from different backgrounds and cultures in N. Ireland to understand and get to know each other. This bridges the gap between Catholics and Protestants this shows forgiveness and willingness to get to know each other on both sides. Also my school took part in the 7 schools program were pupils from seven different schools, Catholic or Protestant, went on day trips and got on very well. Programs like these show understanding and love which in turn shows how discipleship can be lived today.People devote their lives to God through prayer and good works. These people are members of contemplative orders; these people live a hidden life of prayer and work.
They are enclosed in orders like Carmelites and Cistercians. Also people devote their lives to God through apostolic orders, but these people live a public life of prayer for the sick, elderly and the poor, and also through working in the community e.g.
Notre Dame de Namur and the Christian Brothers. Religious men and women are consecrated to God by three vows, poverty, chastity and obedience.Finally priests, whom, through holy orders devote their lives to their parish and making it possible for their parishioners to receive the sacraments.
They also perform missionary work for the good of God and other people. All these points ultimately prove that Christians today interpret discipleship in a very similar, if less extreme, way today.Someone who I would believe to be a modern day disciple would be Martin Luther King. He tirelessly campaigned for human rights for black people. He said, “If you want to say that I was a drum major. Say that I was a drum major for justice. Say that I was a drum major for peace.
Say that I was a drum major for righteousness. And all the other shallow things will not matter. I won’t have any money to leave behind. I won’t have the fine luxurious things in life to leave behind. But I just want to leave a committed life behind. And that’s all I want to say.
If I can help someone as I pass along, if I can cheer somebody with a word or a song, if I can show somebody he is travelling wrong, then my living will not be in vain.”AO3″It is not possible to be a true disciple of Jesus in the modern world.” Do you agree/disagree give reasons for your answer showing you have considered more than one point of view.
I disagree as in the world today many good deeds still occur. A lot of people still love their neighbour as Jesus instructed, “love your neighbour as you love yourself.” These people are true disciples of God. As long as they still believe in Christ and love him with their entire mind, soul and heart.For nearly 2005 years the faith has existed and is strong through-out the world. The faith exists through prayer to the lord, thanking, asking and weekly prayer in church.
The faith also exists through the sacraments and people going on pilgrimages to thank God for their faith.Charity work also shows that many people show true discipleship towards their neighbours, since charities help eliminate the problems of the modern world. Charities such as Trocaire and CAFOD tackle the problem of poverty in the third world. Many people give money to these charities to help other people showing love and concern for their fellow human being. Also other associations like age concern and giving blood also show discipleship as the people giving money and blood are showing concern for each other.
Kindness, love and forgiveness are the three qualities, which show people to be true disciples of God.A person who lived out a disciple’s life is Mother Teresa who worked in the ‘black hole’ of Calcutta. This area is very poverty and disease stricken.
She worked tirelessly to help these very poor people. She showed all qualities needed to be a true disciple of God.On the other hand scientific research can sometimes influence religious ideas.
The ‘Big-Bang’ theory put out the belief that the world was created only by sheer co-incidence.Many media influences can affect the influences of the church, for example media figures are encouraging the use of artificial contraceptive which is prohibited by the Catholic Church.Also the world is now very materialistic which shows the opposite of how the first disciples lived their lives, with no material goods.
Now too much emphasis is put on money and not enough on faith in God.In today’s world many people lose faith when they are going through a rough patch in their lives such as a family bereavement.Finally we live in a pluralist society, which means one with many contrasting attitudes, religions and opinions, this makes many people scepticalTo conclude I still believe that it is possible to be a modern day disciple as we can all follow the example of mother Teresa and others like her.