Those Who Became Jesus’ Disciples
I AM thinking of the finest servant of God that ever lived on earth. Do you know who he is?— That’s right. Jesus Christ.
Do you think that you and I can be like him?— Well, the Bible says that he set the example for us to follow. And he invites us to be his disciples.
What does it mean to be Jesus’ disciples?— It means several things. To be Jesus’ disciples, we must learn from him. But that is not all. We must really believe what he says. Do you really believe everything that Jesus says?— If we really believe, we will do what he tells us, won’t we?—
Many people say that they believe in Jesus. But are all of them really his disciples? Do you think they are?—
No; most of them are not. They may go to church once in a while. But many of them have never taken time to learn what Jesus taught. If you try to talk to them about Jesus, they may say they are not interested. And they do not share in the preaching work that Jesus told his disciples to do. So they are not really his disciples.
What kind of people become disciples of Jesus? Do you know?— It would be interesting to meet some of those who were Jesus’ disciples when he was a man on earth.
Some of them were fishermen. One day while Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee he saw Peter and his brother Andrew. They were letting down a fishing net into the sea. Jesus called to them: “Come after me.”
Going a little farther, Jesus saw two other men who were brothers. Their names were James and John. They were in a boat with their father, repairing their fishing nets. Jesus called James and John to be his disciples too.
If Jesus had called you, what would you have done? Would you have gone with Jesus right away?— These men knew who Jesus was. They knew that Jesus had been sent by God. So at once they left their fishing business and followed Jesus.—Matthew 4:18-22.
It is plain that these men were willing. They wanted to do what was right, and that is important. But they were not perfect. Consider Peter. There were times when he said the wrong thing, and it got him into trouble. But he had a good heart. He did not try to make it appear that he had done no wrong when he knew that he had done wrong. He listened and was willing to change. If we are willing like Peter, we can be disciples of Jesus too.
Jesus also spoke to a rich young ruler. Could a man like this become a disciple of Jesus?— He showed interest. He asked Jesus how to gain eternal life. Jesus explained this to him. But when the man learned that being a disciple of Jesus had to be more important in his life than his money, he became unhappy. Jesus invited him: “Come be my follower.” But the man did not join him. He loved his money more than he loved God.—Luke 18:18-25.
Jesus invited all sorts of people to be his disciples. Even those who had lived bad lives could change. But they must be willing to learn and turn around and go the right way. They must really want to please God. Is that what you want to do?—
The only disciples that we have talked about so far were men. Does that mean that only men could be disciples of Jesus?— No. Women became disciples too. The Bible even tells about a family in which four daughters were busy telling other people about God. What a happy family that must have been!—Acts 21:8, 9.
When Jesus was teaching, he took a special interest in young children. Why did he do that?— He knew that children could also become his disciples. It is true that grown-ups can do some things that children cannot do. But grown-ups are not the only ones who can learn from Jesus. And they are not the only ones who can talk about God. You can do those things too.
Do you want to be a disciple of Jesus?— I do. That is really the best thing that any of us can do.
But, remember, just saying that we are Christians does not make us disciples of the Great Teacher, does it?— If we are really his disciples, it should show in everything we do.
We will not pretend to be Christians only when we go to meetings where we talk about God, but then be bad at other times. We will live like Christians here at home.
Does being a Christian also include how you act when you play with other children?— Should it affect what a man does when he is at work?— Yes, if we are really Jesus’ disciples, then we must act that way all day long, no matter where we are.