The gospels have two words for followers of Jesus:
- DISCIPLE, which in Greek is mathētēs, from a verb meaning ‘to
learn’—especially to learn by practice or repetition. In Matthew 28
where Jesus says, “Go and make disciples of all nations,” he doesn’t
mean to force people to believe certain things or even to get them to
repent. He means to inspire people to become fellow learners with us of
the ways of Jesus Christ. Followers of Jesus are learners.
- The other word for a Jesus-follower is APOSTLE, from the Greek
apostellō, ‘to send out.’ To be a follower of Jesus is not only to learn
from Jesus, it is also to go out and to be the love of Jesus to others.
Christians are a sent people.