“Follow Me,” said Jesus to the fisherman of Bethsaida, “and I will make you fishers of men.” These words (whose originality stamps them as a genuine saying of Jesus) show that the great Founder of the faith desired not only to have disciples, but to have about Him men whom He might train to make disciples of others: to cast the net of divine truth into the sea of the world, and to land on the shores of the divine kingdom a great multitude of believing souls. Both from His words and from His actions we can see that He attached supreme importance to that part of His work which consisted in training of the twelve. (Bruce, A. B. The Training of the Twelve. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1971. Pp 12 – 13.)
Yesterday we started asking the question what is a disciple and how do you make one. I mentioned that we are going to invest some time in this inquiry. I am starting here because of what Christ commanded in Matthew 28:18 – 20, specifically, that the twelve were to teach “them to observe all that I commanded you,” which includes this last command to make disciples. So we are starting with the end in mind. A disciple, an apprentice of Christ, is one who will be engaged in reproducing themselves, passing on what they are learning about following Jesus. That is the goal. A disciple is not a consumer, he is a wholesaler.
How does one get there?
If you want to work through this yourself a good starting place would be to download this list of all of the passages in the New Testament that mention the word disciple.