Apostle and disciple are sometimes used interchangeably, but the two terms should be understood in a distinct light.
Christianity recognizes two types of disciples: those who follow Jesus’ teachings and those who act as messengers to convey those teachings to others.
Disciple is a student
The term disciple is derived from the Latin discipulus, meaning “student.” In the New Testament, this term is mostly applied to those who follow Jesus or who are devout followers of a teacher or religious leader.
A disciple is someone who strives to learn as much as possible about Christ and His teachings. They are willing to put what they have learned into practice.
Jesus often used the term disciple to refer to those who followed and believed in Him. If someone followed His teachings closely, they could be considered his disciple.
However, it’s essential to note that being a disciple does not necessitate following all of Jesus’ teachings or living the Christian life to its fullest. There is an immense difference between being a follower of Jesus and an apostle.
An apostle is someone sent by Jesus to spread his teachings or gospel. In the Bible, this term usually refers to twelve men chosen by Jesus who would later become known as apostles (see Matthew 10:1; Mark 3:13; Luke 6:12).
Paul eventually rose to become an apostle, being charged by Jesus to spread the Gospel message and help it reach all corners of the globe.
Paul often refers to himself as an apostle and often uses the title in conjunction with other men who are also apostles. In Paul’s letters and the book of Acts, apostle is used more broadly than it does in the Gospels.
Becoming a disciple can be an incredibly rewarding experience, but it comes at a cost. In one of Jesus’ final conversations with His followers, He challenged them to decide if they were willing to follow Him and put His teachings into practice.
He cautioned them not to sit by and observe from the sidelines, but rather take His yoke upon themselves and be actively engaged in His kingdom. It may have been difficult, but it is an essential component of being His disciple.
Apostle is a messenger
Apostles are those chosen by Jesus to spread the Word of God through preaching and teaching. Once Jesus ascended, these individuals were granted special gifts through the Holy Spirit that would enable them to carry out his mission.
When you hear the term “apostle,” chances are you are thinking of one of Jesus’ 12 disciples who accompanied Him, dined with Him and spread his gospel message around the world. These men were chosen by Jesus to be his closest followers and spread salvation throughout the globe.
The word “apostle” comes from the Greek verb apostalus, meaning “to send away.” In the New Testament it refers to Jesus’ twelve apostles whom He chose and were granted special gifts by the Holy Spirit after His resurrection.
In addition to these twelve, there were other men deemed apostles. James, for instance, is described as an apostle in Acts 14:14 (11:22-24; 13:1-4), while Barnabas – Paul’s companion in the early church – is included as an apostle both at this point and later on.
These men were able to speak for Jesus and inscribe his authoritative truths into Scripture. They served as teachers of Christianity during the early centuries of the church, and their authority still influences Christians today.
Though there were only a few true apostles in the early years of Christianity, their disciples spread God’s message and helped guide the church during its early years. Unfortunately, when these apostles died, there were no new ones to take their place, meaning their office ended with them.
Though many disciples still share Jesus’ words and spread the Gospel, there is no apostle in the traditional sense of the church today. Therefore, it is essential for every Christian to know who they are and what an apostle’s role in their community is.
Disciple is a follower
A disciple is a follower of Jesus Christ. Whether they’re at home with their kids, working at the grocery store, teaching something new in school, or managing an international company, all disciples share an intimate connection with God.
Discipleship is a lifelong journey. It begins with our decision to believe in Jesus, committing ourselves to His teachings and ways, and live as His children. Eventually, the Holy Spirit brings us to a place of trust in the Lord where we can fully rely on Him for guidance every moment of our lives.
The word disciple comes from the Greek mathetes, meaning learner or student. In antiquity, this term denoted those who were dedicated followers of a leader or teacher. In the New Testament, disciples refers to followers of Jesus and apostles sent out by Him to spread His message of love and grace.
Jesus calls all who accept Him as their Savior to become followers, and they are charged with spreading the Good News of Jesus to others. As a follower, you will experience transformation and be able to lead others in doing the same.
You will also be equipped to share your faith and grow in Christ through prayer, study of the Bible, fellowship with other believers, and service to the church. It’s a process that takes time and patience but one you won’t regret.
Becoming a disciple of Christ begins with placing Jesus at the forefront of your life and striving to emulate Him in every area. While it may be challenging – Jesus said it would be “costly” for His disciples (Luke 14:28-30) – you will be so glad you did when you look back on all that God has done for you in your life!
The next step in becoming a disciple of Christ is listening to Him speak. As you do, He will reveal His truth and will for your life, giving you the ability to obey what He instructs and bring about His Kingdom here on Earth.
Apostle is a leader
The term apostle comes from the Greek apostolos, meaning “sent one” or “one sent on a mission.” In Christian faith, an apostle is someone whom Jesus trusted with spreading His teachings and message.
As a leader, an apostle is someone who plants churches, sends people on missions and has influence within a region or set of relationships. They serve as pioneers, starters and catalysts.
A disciple is a student who strives to emulate their teacher. Disciples study Scripture and strive to live according to Christ’s example in their lives.
When we think of apostles, we usually immediately associate them with Jesus’ twelve disciples who were chosen to accompany Him and learn more of His teachings. These individuals had been charged with a specific mission: preaching the gospel throughout all nations.
Jesus sent out a great group of men, but they weren’t the only disciples he had in mind when He sent them off. After sending the twelve away to journey, Jesus chose 72 other disciples to accompany them.
Jesus’ disciples were content to follow Him and spent their time learning from Him.
However, when studying the Bible we see that some individuals were given more prominent roles than others and often referred to as leaders. The apostles were those responsible for spreading Christianity around the globe, particularly Paul.
The term apostle is often applied to both Jesus’ original Twelve Disciples and later Paul. While both were entrusted with a similar task, it is most commonly applied to Jesus’ original chosen twelve disciples.
Luke 6:13 informs us Jesus chose 12 disciples to be known as “apostles,” a term also employed in Mark 6:30 when the Disciples are said to have returned from their mission.
Although this is an accurate description of the Disciples, it doesn’t quite capture all that an apostle was. If we’re being honest, many other disciples were more faithful and loyal to their Master than some of the apostles were.