Characteristics of a Disciple

What did Jesus say are some of the characteristics that are observable in the life of His followers?

  1. A disciple loves God above all else.
    When asked what is the greatest commandment in the Law, Jesus replied, "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself. All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments." (Matthew 22:36-40)

  2. A disciple loves people and especially loves the family of Jesus — the brothers and sisters — and works for unity in the family.
    "A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." (John 13:34-35)
    "I have given them the glory that You gave me, that they may be one as we are one: I in them and You in me. May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that You sent me and have loved them even as You have loved me." (John 17:22-23)

  3. A disciple puts Jesus before self and follows Him regardless of the cost.
    "If anyone comes to me and does not put me before father and mother, sister and brother, wife and children, and even before his own life, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:26-27)

  4. A disciple puts Jesus before others. (Luke 14:26-27)

  5. A disciple puts Jesus before possessions.
    "In the same way, anyone who does not give up everything he has, cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:33)

  6. A disciple studies and learns the Scripture and obeys Jesus' commands.
    "Why do you call me, 'Lord, Lord,' and do not do what I say? (Luke 6:46)
    "If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31-32)
    "If you love me, you will obey what I command." "Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father and I too will love him and show myself to him." "If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him." (John 14:15,21,23)

  7. A disciple is rooted in Jesus, abides in Jesus, and reproduces — bears fruit / makes disciples.
    "I am the vine, you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing." "If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you. This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you obey my commends, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in His love." (John 15:5,7-10)
    "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey all that I have commanded you, and remember, I am with you always, even to the very end of the age." (Matthew 28:18-20)

  8. A disciple is a person of prayer.
    "Your Father knows what you need before you ask. This is how you should pray, 'Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name, may Your kingdom come, and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us each day our daily bread and forgive us our debts as we also have forgiven our debtors. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.'" (Matthew 6:8-13)
    "Again I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my Father in heaven. For where two or three come together in my name, I am there with them." (Matthew 18:19-20)

  9. A disciple is a person of faith (believes God) and a person of the Spirit.
    "For God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in him, shall not perish but have eternal life." (John 3:16)
    "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes Him who sent me, has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life." (John 5:24)
    "The work of God is this; to believe in the one He has sent." (John 6:29)
    "But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you." (John 14:26)
    "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you; and you will be my witnesses not only in Jerusalem, and in Judea and Samaria, but to the ends of the earth." (Acts 1:8)

  10. A disciple cares for the lost and the poor and needy.
    "Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" (Matthew 25:34-40)