Christianity is a taught religion. Therefore, two of our highest priorities are to learn and to teach. The word “disciple” refers to one who is a student and carries with it the expectation that the student will someday become a teacher. The word “disciple” is used around 269 times in the Bible. It is an important description of the Christian life.
Jesus placed a great emphasis on teaching and making disciples. John 4:1 records that Jesus was making more disciples than John the Baptist. Many of John’s “students” left him and began to follow Jesus (John 1:36-37). The discipling process is best pictured in Matthew 4:18-22 where Jesus called Peter and Andrew saying, “Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men” (Matt. 4:19). James and John heard a similar call from the Lord and immediately left all to follow him. Jesus called them to “follow him” or to learn him and his life. Then they were to become “fishers of men” as they sought disciples who would also follow Jesus.
To be a disciple, then, is to make new disciples. Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:19 to “make disciples” involves multiplication. Paul pointed this out in 2 Corinthians 5:18 when he wrote, “All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry or reconciliation.”
Good church, this is what we are called to do as well. We are called to follow Christ and be made “fishers of men.” A more noble, valuable, or heavenly task you will not find. You very well may be a part of God’s plan for someone’s salvation (Rom. 10:14-17). Go and make disciples.