One of the more confusing words that Christians use is the word “discipleship.” When we talk about it, we might be talking about going deeper, growing spiritually, or we might be talking about teaching biblical content, or one-on-one-mentoring.
Being a disciple (literally, a student) is about getting closer to Jesus and becoming more like him.
We should be being discipled by others.
We should be discipling ourselves.
And we should always be making disciples.
Discipleship is inevitable. You will be discipled and taught about what to believe and how to live by many different sources. You can be disciples by Jesus’ movement, the church, or you can be discipled in a dozen other ways.
To get back to the roots of discipleship, this week we’re looking at the story in which Jesus called four of his earliest disciples to follow him.
John 1:35-51 NRSV
 The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples,  and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!”  The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus.
 When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?”  He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon.
 One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother.  He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed).  He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).
 The next day Jesus decided to go to Galilee. He found Philip and said to him, “Follow me.”  Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the city of Andrew and Peter.  Philip found Nathanael and said to him, “We have found him about whom Moses in the law and also the prophets wrote, Jesus son of Joseph from Nazareth.”
 Nathanael said to him, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” Philip said to him, “Come and see.”  When Jesus saw Nathanael coming toward him, he said of him, “Here is truly an Israelite in whom there is no deceit!”  Nathanael asked him, “Where did you get to know me?” Jesus answered, “I saw you under the fig tree before Philip called you.”
 Nathanael replied, “Rabbi, you are the Son of God! You are the King of Israel!”  Jesus answered, “Do you believe because I told you that I saw you under the fig tree? You will see greater things than these.”  And he said to him, “Very truly, I tell you, you will see heaven opened and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man.”
The question, “What are you looking for?” is important for all of us to consider, because we are all seekers. We all seek meaning, and that search for meaning is, in and of itself, evidence that God made us into people who would seek him.
What are you looking for in this life?
Their answer… “Teacher…” They sought to be students.
Jesus is always inviting you one step further into fellowship with himself.
What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus?
1. A disciple walks in close fellowship with the Teacher.
The relationship went from following at a distance, to staying overnight, to traveling and doing life in close proximity to Jesus. The same is true for us.
2. A disciple listens to the words of the Teacher.
This one is obvious, but often it’s the only piece we consider – listening to the teachings of Jesus and attempting to put them into practice. This is really a matter, for us, of examining the Bible daily in our lives.
3. A disciple follows the pattern of life of the Teacher.
We learn to live life like Jesus, to develop our inner character to be like his.
4. A disciple brings others to the Teacher.
Andrew first went to find Simon (Peter) and invited him into the circle to become a disciple as well.
Our motive for evangelism isn’t heaven or hell. It’s that we’ve found the Teacher, the Savior, the King, and we know he is worthy of being followed.
Do you have a Teacher? A Savior? Jesus freely welcomes all who want to follow him!