Can you explain Matthew 10:24 and Luke 6:40? Sometimes in the fellowship we throw the term around that those whom we disciple are our "disciples." I always thought that we are disciples of Jesus and him alone, although we all need input. Isn't this a situation of man versus God, with the potential to idolize man? --Maura Maddox (Portland, Oregon)

I share your concern. Followers of Jesus are most certainly not our disciples, but his. In fact, I know of only one passage in the New Testament where Christians are called disciples of a person, Acts 9:25. In the context, it is clear that these are people Paul is training. How much discipleship is true training depends, I suppose, on the skill of the teacher. For this reason, I have always strongly discouraged this sort of language, as have many other brothers and sisters with similar concerns.

Yes, we all need input, and teaching ("discipling"), and the word of God urges us to get it. In closing, we ought all to be:

* Discipled by others -- Hebrews 3:12
* Discipled by the Word -- Hebrews 4:12
* Discipled by ourselves -- Hebrews 5:12
* Discipled by godly examples -- Hebrews 6:12
* Discipled by God's training -- Hebrews 12:12.

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