Disciple (μαθητής)

 •  1 min. read  •  grade level: 8
This word signifies strictly “a learner” or “pupil.” The Pharisees had such, whom they taught to fast (Matt. 22:16; Mark 2:18). John the Baptist had disciples, who likewise fasted (Matt. 9:14; Luke 5:33; John 3:25). The Lord Jesus had His disciples: the apostles whom He chose to be with Him are called His “twelve disciples” (Matt. 11:1); but in other places the term is applied to all who followed the Lord, many of whom “went back and walked no more with him” (John 6:60-66). When great multitudes followed the Lord, He turned to them and bade them count the cost of really following Him. Such an one must hate (in comparison with Christ) all his natural relations and his own life also. He must take up his cross and follow Christ, and he must forsake all that he had, or he could not be His disciple (Luke 14:26-33). On another occasion Jesus said to the Jews that believed on Him, “If ye abide in my word, ye are truly my disciples” (John 8:31). It was true association in heart with a rejected Christ (Matt. 10:24-25; John 15:8).