Biblical References: Luke 5:1-11; Luke 6:12-16; Luke 9:1-6; Luke 9:23-25; Luke 10:1-24
The word “disciple” means a student, or perhaps more importantly, a follower. In the North American context, a mentee might be the best way to describe what it means to be a disciple. Disciples of Jesus follow him and look to him as their teacher and mentor.
1. Luke 5:1-11 tells of Jesus calling his first disciples, who were fishermen. Why would these fishermen be willing to leave “everything” and follow Jesus? Did they have some prior knowledge of Jesus? Why would Jesus call fishermen?
2. Were the disciples that Jesus called somehow better, more holy, or more moral than any others? Perhaps we should notice what Peter says about himself in 5:8. He tells Jesus, “Go away from me, Lord, for I am a sinful man.” How does Jesus respond to Simon Peter’s request? What might we learn about Jesus (and about discipleship) from this?
3. There were twelve disciples that traveled with Jesus from place to place during his public ministry. Were some of them married? How old were they? In what ways were they a diverse group? In what ways were they similar? Once again, are there lessons we ought to learn from this?
4. Why would Jesus even bother to call together a “team” of disciples? Was it for their sake or for his sake? In other words, did they help him, or slow him down?
5. What is the one necessary quality that is required of someone who wants to be a disciple of Jesus?
6. Jesus doesn’t just call his twelve disciples to follow him. He also commissions them for ministry as apostles. What does the word “apostle” mean? According to Luke 9:1-6, what are the primary tasks of an apostle? Why is an apostle not to take anything for the journey? How would this benefit the work of Jesus?
7. According to Luke 9:23, following Jesus requires denying self, even to the point of giving up family and life itself. How do we balance this with the notion that following Jesus brings joy and an abundant life?
8. What is the difference between being a “Christian” and being a “disciple of Jesus”?
9. What encouragement could you give to someone who has heard the call of Jesus to follow, but is struggling to obey?