Are you Christian or Disciple (DoC)?

Are you a Christian or Disciple (DoC)

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) (NASB)

You can read John 13 here.


There are these moments when you suddenly realise that you are looking into the very heart of God. Everything you have ever thought, and everything that you have experienced that has been of God resonates with the truth that is revealed to you.

This final command which is given by our Lord Jesus Christ to his disciples, at their last meal, encapsulates for me the whole of the Bible from Genesis to Revelation. (John13:34 – 35)

Let’s start out by setting the scene. Jesus, whom we know is both man and God is about to enter and fulfil the prophecy of the Messiah. (Isaiah 53: 1-6)This honour which Father has laid on His shoulders will burden him with the sins of the world. How easily that is said? Because he is, really is, and he is “I am!” He knows what lies ahead in the next hours.


His nation, His disciples, His followers, will deny Him and mercilessly throw Him at the feet of the most vicious rulers that the world knew at that time. Yet Rome finds him innocent, but his own kind drive him to the cross. He knows that although the whole of the old Testament predicted his coming, they will deny him his right as their King. Judaism will crucify Him. (Psalm 22 – the crucifixion through Jesus’s eyes.)

He knows, that even though the nation has witnessed the the miracles he has performed and experienced the full love of God his skin will literally be flayed from his body (John 19) and every ounce of humanity will be wretched and torn out of him.

Then, as if that total loneliness of having to face the trials and tribulations leading up to the point where He is hung on the cross is not enough, He will be totally alone discarded and despised by humanity, and Father will turn his face away as he descends into hell on behalf of mankind. Then man cloaked in the blood of Jesus, his righteousness is restored, graced by love alone we approach the throne of our Father.

“Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” (Luke 23:34)

Jesus, with full knowledge of this excruciating tribulation which faces Him starts this last supper by washing the feet of his disciples. (John 13 you can read it here ) Not only is this action a pure symbol of servitude but also a demonstration of his love for them. Can you for one moment imagine what “The Son of man” was thinking and feeling as he carried out this simple humble and radical act of kindness. He is about to demonstrate the final sacrifice for our righteousness, and in all humility He bends, takes his disciples dirty feet one by one and washes them with tender love and kindness.

During this supper with his disciples Jesus gives this command :

A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another, even as I have loved you, that you also love one another. By this all men will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” (John 13:34-35) (NASB)

When we read John 13 we get caught up in so many other things that happen in this chapter that we often overlook this command. John 13 is so full of predictions of the coming crucifixion, and forms an integral part of our knowledge of what is to follow. This command of love which Jesus gives to his disciples is critically important because it displays and commands our lives as Disciples of Christ (DoC).

The word Christian in the Bible was never used by our Lord as a description of his followers. It is only used three times in the new Testament, and to a point it is a derogatory term, where it is used to refer to people who follow “the way”. Jesus referred to his followers as Disciples. Andy Stanley in his series about “Christian” accurately portrays how nebulous the word Christian is. He also points out how binding and well defined the nomenclature of being a Disciple is. This last command given by our Lord Jesus Christ fully describes his approaching sacrifice for us all, it is the encapsulating message of our relationship with God, one another and mankind.

Are you a Christian or a Disciple?

To find out if you are Christian or a disciple I suggest you watch the series by Andy Stanley:

It is really important to watch the first video in the series:

Let us as disciples of Christ (DoC’s) draw people in by displaying  to them our love for one another, never measuring the mile we have to go, and then extending our Lord’s love to humanity and  mankind around us.



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