a dis­ci­ple is

Have you ever seen a painting or a drawing? If you were to compare the painting and photograph of the same same scene, you will notice that the artist “forgets” to paint certain details and adds other details that aren’t present in the photograph. Why? Well, that is how people see. In order to see clearly, you must first become blind to everything you do not want to see. Hence, selfish love is blind because selfish love can only see itself. But Christian love sees all by seeing only Jesus.

In a similar way, under the guidance of the Bible, I have been using words to paint a picture of the disciple. In a disciple is not, I carved away everything that doesn’t belong in the painting of a disciple. By doing this, we discovered that even when looking directly at His disciple, you should only see Jesus Christ. A disciple is always busy removing herself from the picture so that Christ may be seen. And so we concluded by saying, “a disciple is not.” Now that our canvas is clear, let us look in Christ to see what a disciple is.

What is a Disciple?

Colossians 3:3

makes it clear that a disciple is not … so that Christ may be seen. Therefore, when you look at a disciple of Jesus, you should only see Jesus Christ. Yet by the same verse, when you see Jesus Christ, you will see the disciple. So then it is fair to ask, “Who is a disciple of Jesus Christ?”

You may choose to look it up in a dictionary but the definition you find will be too general. Let us look again at John 15:1-10. By reading it we come to understand who a disciple is. “While Jesus Humbly Abides in him, a disciple humbly abides in Jesus and produces fruit”. Read John 15:1-10 and then read read our definition again. See how it fits. Is this definition something you can apply to your life?

A few things to note. 1 The definition puts Jesus first. The disciple is not first. 2 The definition of a disciple describes a relationship and NOT a checklist of rules. A disciple is defined only in the dance between herself and her Lord. 3 The relationship between the disciple and Jesus produces fruit the way a seed grows into a tree. All the thick trunk and branches of the tree is contained in the seed. Enough water, sunlight and fertilizer and the seed will become a tree no matter what. So also fruit is bound up in our relationship with Jesus Christ. Nurture the relationship with Jesus Christ and fruit happens. Yet no one removes the seed from the soil and still expects the tree to still grow. So also, failure to put the relationship with Jesus first guarantees that fruit will NOT be produced.


Again in our definition is this thing about how Jesus humbly abides in us. Now it is clear that only by Omnipotent Humility could the Creator live in me. He has a throne in heaven, is enthroned in the praises of His people and yet He Desires to live in me, a manger, a shack with no walls. Truly Jesus Christ Humbly Abides in us. Furthermore, He is not forceful and does not impose Himself. He Who Leads an army of angels could easily come in my heart and forcefully take over. And sometimes I wish He would. But Jesus is NOT a devil who tempts in order to enslave. No. Jesus only takes possession of those who willingly surrender to Him. Therefore, in both Presence and Behavior, our Holy Lord Jesus Christ Humbly Abides in His disciples.

But how can a disciple humbly abide in his Master? It seems easy to say, “God is heaven and I am on earth, so I’ll let my words be few.” And in truth, with enough meditation, this is more than sufficient. But this is not the age of meditation. In this day and age, we have a prideful misunderstanding of humility. You may have heard people say that being humble means being low or lowly or not thinking highly of yourself. That is a very biblical definition. But this is only one side of the definition. The other side is this: “Humility means lifting God up.” It is important that we take off our crowns but only so that we offer those crowns to Jesus Christ. A Christian only esteems herself lowly because she gives away her esteem to Jesus Christ.

Yet often we prefer to jump to one side or the other of humility. In pride, we think little of ourselves and refuse to hear what Jesus says about us. Or on the other side, we have no problem lifting up Jesus … so long as it helps us feel like we’re better than everyone else. When you lose your self esteem but refuse to esteem Jesus Christ, you still think too highly of yourself. This is evident in people who, although lowly and hurting, still refuse the uplifting embrace of Jesus Christ. At the same time, if seeing Jesus does not make you aware of how low you are, then you have not seen Jesus but instead you have seen a figment of your imagination. In other words, you still highly esteem yourself. This is evident in people who think they are Christians and yet they do not tremble by obeying His Word.

How then can a disciple of Jesus Christ be humble? Simple. First as a disciple, I must understand that I do not own me 1 Corinthians 6:19-20. In fact, I have died and the person I used to be is gone Colossians 3:3. Like the servant of the Centurion, I live, speak and move only through the Command of Jesus Christ Matthew 8:8. A disciple refuses to be himself by seeking to emulate Jesus Christ. He refuses the hell of trying to be his own image and instead strives to be the image of Jesus Christ. A disciple does not say her own words. Instead, she lets Jesus speak through her. She does not do what she wants. Instead, she strives to do only what Jesus is doing. If there is any place where you are doing what you want the way you want and not submitting to the command of Jesus Christ then you are not being a disciple and you must repent.


While Jesus Humbly Abides in him, a disciple humbly abides in Jesus and produces fruit. What is the meaning of this old word abide? Abide means that you live in a place and that this place lives in you. It is the place where you find rest and never leave. In fact, the word for the place where you abide is called your abode. So when Jesus says abide in me, it is implied automatically that we must also let Him Abide in us. And when He says, “and I in you”, then we know that we must also abide in Him John 15:4.

So for Jesus to abide in me, I must make myself into a home for Him. I must let His Words abide in me like John 15:7 says. Imagine that you are soon to get married. Would you not like to find out how your wife likes her food or when her birthday is? And when she tells you, will you forget her words or will you let her words abide in you so that you will know how to behave and prepare your life for her? This is the meaning of John 15:7. I must look into His Heart and desire the character, nature and behavior that will make Him Happy. I should not keep a room in my life where He is not welcome. Instead, I must invite him into every single moment and every single space which I inhabit.

So look into your daily routine and your life. Are there moments in the day when you do not welcome Jesus or Jesus is not welcome? Is there a place in your house or your life where you like to keep to yourself? Are you trying to make Him feel at home in every breath you take and every word you speak?


A War of Words

And so we have distilled our discourse to arrive at the most essential definition of a disciple. A disciple is obedient. We know Jesus Abides in us through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit teaches us the Word of Jesus and reminds us of His Love 1 John 4:13, John 16:13, Romans 5:5. We know that Jesus Always does His Part and by this I mean, He does all. Our only job is to cling to Him and never leave His side. The only way to abide in His Love, in His Embrace is through obedience John 15:10.

But before we obey Him, we should at least know what He wants us to do. And so Jesus tells us to let His Word to abide in us John 15:7. When a word abides, it not only abides in your mind but also in your hands and feet. This means I cannot seek my own ways or my own thoughts. Instead, I must pray constantly asking for His Thoughts and seeking to walk in His Ways Isaiah 55:8-11. A disciple does not put his own feelings and thoughts first. He cares first what God is feeling and what God is thinking. So always ask God if your thoughts and feelings are right.

Yet the world is a jumbled jungle full of awful dangerous words seeking to fill our hearts so that they might manifest through our bodies. Maybe its what my parents said to me a long time ago or maybe its the rapper telling its okay to sleep around. In order for the Word of Jesus to abide in me, I must silence all other words so that I can hear His Word. Like the sheaves of Joseph’s brothers Genesis 37:7, all other words must bow before His Own. This means I must sift every word I hear through the filter of His Word and keep only the words that agree with His Word. For this reason, disciples are careful about the movies or news that they watch. They are careful to scrutinize the words heard among friends 2 Corinthians 10:3-6. Every word seeking to be king must bow down to the Word of the Kings of Kings. But this will not happen unless the disciple lets the Word of God dwell in her richly Colossians 3:16. In other words, the Word Is Wealth only for those who have become the wealth of The Word.

Finally, as a dear brother recently reminded me, obedience means that I am a doer of the Word. Only the Word I do abides in my hands and feet. I cannot hesitate in order to decide if I am going to obey. Light did not hesitate to be when God commanded it in Genesis 1:3. When Jesus Speaks, then by the Power in His Word, I become the answer. A disciple may ask how to answer but she must always know that by God’s Power, she is the answer. I respond to the Word of Jesus Christ not only with my lips but also with my hands and feet. Therefore, you can see that obedience is essentially prayer. God Speaks. I Do. God Speaks. I Answer. And as the conversation goes on, I find myself in the state of obedience, humbly abiding in Jesus while Jesus Humbly Abides in me.

“But you have been anointed by the Holy One, and you all have knowl­edge.”
- 1 John 2:20

Wanna reach out and ask me some ques­tions? Or do you want clar­i­fi­ca­tion on some­thing writ­ten here? If so, write me a let­ter. I’d love to hear from you and I’ll respond. I bet your hon­est ques­tion will pro­duce insights that will ben­e­fit other read­ers.