Introduction: Most religious people are conversant with the word and concept of disciple. However, only on a limited level. Indeed, being a disciple is vitally important (Jn. 15: 1-8). "Disciple" (mathetes) is found 268 times in the Greek New Testament. Mathetes means, "A learner one who follows ones teaching" (Vine, Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words).
I. Make a disciple by baptism
A. Jesus said, "Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them teaching them" (Matt. 28: 19, ASV).
a. One commentator comments, "Two participles of means then state how all nations are to be made into disciples: by baptizing them and by teaching them" (R.C.H. Lenski, Vol. 1, pg. 1173).
b. "Baptism the condition of discipleship=make disciples by baptizing ," wrote Nicoll (Expositors Greek New Testament, Vol. 1).
c. Of course, it is understood belief, repentance, and confession have preceded the baptism.
II. The disciples were called Christians
A. Disciple and Christian are tantamount. " And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch" (Acts 11: 26).
B. As we have seen, "disciple" means a learner and one who follows.
a. Hence, a Christian is not only one who belongs to Christ, but he is also a learner and a follower of Christ. Jesus said, " if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed" (Jn. 8: 31).
III. There is much involved in being a disciple of Jesus
A. A disciple must love Jesus above all others and put him first (Lk. 14: 26, 27).
B. Moreover, a disciple bears much fruit. Jesus said, "Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples" (Jn. 15: 8, 1-7).
C. Persecution is also part of being a disciple (Jn. 16: 1-3).
Conclusion: There are many nominal disciples. However, to be a disciple of Jesus, as taught in the New Testament, is not as common. Will you become a disciple of Jesus?