a dis­ci­ple is not

There is a great book by a brother in whose family I do not deserve to belong called The Cost of Discipleship. The book lays out what we easily forget as The Church of Jesus Christ: the cost of discipleship is denial of oneself so that I can be like Jesus Christ. We lay down our lives because He Laid down His Own. He Offers us His Body and Blood and we offer to Him our body and blood. The cost of discipleship is the price of love. Even when the price is high, it is an easy decision. So please go and read The Cost of Discipleship by brother Dietrich Bonhoeffer.

These series of articles deal with discipleship from the perspective of nature and not the cost. Although if you have captured what I said above, you will perceive that the nature is the cost. Today I will attempt to simply answer two simple questions: 1 Who is a Christian? 2 Who is a disciple of Jesus Christ?


To hear that word today invokes all sorts of images and definitions for all sorts of people. Unfortunately, most people think they are Christians because they go to church on Sunday. Although most of the time, it’s only on Easter, Christmas and Hanukah. Or if you’re a superchristian or really religious, you may attend midweek services. Or for those on the upper echelons, you’ve probably been on a few mission trips. But do you see what I am doing here? The world perceives the Christian by a series of actions she performs. A real Christian will tell you that she does all the things above and even more NOT because it makes a her Christian. Instead, she is a Christian and therefore she does certain things.

Therefore, a Christian is not someone who does a series of stuff. But a Christian is still a human being and so he has to do something. Let us go back to the Bible then and find out where this word “Christian” comes from. “For a whole year they met with the church, and taught a large company of people; and in Antioch the disciples were for the first time called Christians.” Acts 11:26 reveals plainly that the word “Christian” was a name that was given to disciples. Biblically speaking, only a disciple of Jesus Christ can be called a Christian. If you are not a disciple of Jesus, then you are not a Christian. No matter how you grew up or what you’ve done or haven’t done or whatever, if you are not a disciple of Jesus Christ, then you are not a Christian.

What is the significance of this? Well, in myself, I find a tendency to drain the standard of God down to the dregs of this world. But the Bible, from Old Testament to New Testament, makes it consistently makes it clear to me and you that only disciples of Jesus Christ go to heaven. God will decide concerning those who, for whatever reason, had no opportunity in time to hear the Eternal gospel. But to any who read these words I say to you, “You must become a disciple of Jesus Christ or you cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven.”


Only disciples of Jesus Christ are christians. Who then is a disciple of Jesus Christ? Jesus says and reveals many many things that answer this question both directly and indirectly. Among His more direct words are Luke 14:25-35 where Jesus tells us who cannot be His disciple. Whoever comes to Jesus and does not hate his family and himself, whoever does not deny himself and take up his cross, whoever does not give up the whole world cannot be a disciple of Jesus Christ. This is re-emphasized in Matthew 16:24, Luke 9:23-26. More particularly in Luke 9:26, He says that He will be ashamed of anyone that is ashamed of Him and His Words.

Why does Jesus say such strong things? What gives Him the right to make such a strong request? Well He is God and He is Man. Matthew 10:37-40 seems to be a rehashing of the verses we read previously until we get to the startling revelation in Matthew 10:40. Here we see Jesus set up an equivalence: whoever receives the disciple receives the master. So as a disciple of Jesus Christ, when people receive me as a friend, they should not see or hear me at all. They should only see and hear Jesus Christ. Let us say you go into a house to tell them about Jesus Christ but in your heart, you love your family more than Jesus Christ. Then consciously or unconsciously, you will manipulate your words and the people hearing you so that you and your family can benefit. But if by loving Jesus Christ above all, you hate the world, your family and even yourself then only Jesus Christ will be speaking through you. People do not need me or you. They need Jesus Christ. People only come back to life when Jesus Speaks through me or you Ezekiel 37:3-4.

But beyond the accomplishment of the disciple’s work, the disciple denies himself, most of all, because Jesus Christ his Master also Denied Himself. Philippians 2:4-8 makes it clear that Jesus our Master Denied Himself to Follow His Father. Jesus renounced Joseph, Mary, James and His other brothers to Follow His Father Matthew 12:46-50. Jesus renounced physical children so that His Father might adopt many Romans 8:15. Jesus renounced His Will so that The Will of The Father might be His Own Luke 22:42, John 12:49, John 5:19. Jesus Is A Disciple of God. This is why He said in Matthew 10:40, “Whoever receives you, receives me and whoever receives me, receives Him who sent me. “ You see, even Jesus wasn’t interested in anyone hearing Him. He Denied Himself so that everyone could see and hear and meet God The Father through Him John 14:6. So why would He demand anything less than discipleship from us?*So, “Who is a disciple of Jesus Christ?” **A disciple of Jesus is someone who is not. A disciple denies himself of everything, even himself, by loving Jesus above all. When you see a disciple of Jesus, you don’t see her at all, you see Jesus Christ. And when you see Jesus Christ through His disciple, it is not Jesus Christ you are seeing but God The Father. This or that.

“… Morn­ing by morn­ing He Awak­ens; He Awak­ens my ear to hear as those who are taught.”
- Isaiah 50:4

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.