Type: Response Essays
Sample donated: Manuel Wagner
Last updated: November 19, 2019
These passages show how people responded to Jesus.
We see how the apostles were in awe of him, how they wondered at what he could do and what he knew. We see Peter being so awed by Christ that he asked him to go away. Jesus, however, did not go away, and Peter followed him.Levi, who is often thought to be identical with Matthew, was a tax collector.
This made him an outcast and a collaborator with the enemy. Jesus called him as a disciple. The message of these passages is that God can call whomever he wishes to be his disciple. Even if a person has been a sinner they can be called by Christ. All that matters is that the person called gives a positive response to Christ.
This can also introduce to Christians the idea of vocation and our responsibility as Christians to follow it. A vocation is a calling to live a particular way of life. Everyone has their own particular vocation. For some it means being a priest, a brother or a nun. Some people find their vocation in the professions such as nursing or teaching. There is something about how Christians live their lives which makes us value the caring professions and public service, but any job can be a vocation if it is the one you feel God wants you to do. Yet most Catholics are married and their vocation is to raise a family.
This is valued as a very important vocation but the most important thing is to live your vocation as well as you can.Today we can see various examples of people living out vocation- religious orders, holy orders, service and sacrifice, laity, married/single life, Christian responsibility. The idea of vocation is that people feel inclined to live a particular way of life. The modern day discipleship vocation is about us dedicating our lives to others and there are many people who do this, i.e. people in the priesthood, religious orders. These people are required to turn their backs on their personal wishes and devote themselves to God completely, regardless of the cost.
One of the most important teachings of Christ is the passage of the Cost of Discipleship Mark 8: 34-35:”The he called the crowd to him along with his disciples and said: ‘If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever wants to save his life for me and the gospel will save it. “This means that anyone who wants to be a disciple must be prepared to put God and his commandments first, and as a result be prepared to suffer for their beliefs. People who are able to do this must have a great amount of courage and a lot of support from the people around them.In Mark 6: 8-11 and Mark 10: 24-25 Jesus tells his disciples that they should go to someone for help if they needed it and that in comparison to what some other people would have to give up to enter the Kingdom of God- they were not being asked to give up things that would be very hard i.e.
all their riches.So by studying just a few passages of Mark’s Gospel we are able to learn a lot about the nature of discipleship. I found that as Christians we can see that the ‘cost of discipleship’ and the idea of vocation are the most important thing that a disciple has to consider.
AO2 Explain how this teaching of discipleship might affect the life of a Christian today.In Mark 8: 27-33 Jesus says:”If anyone would come after me, they must deny him and take up his cross and follow me.”Jesus means that by denying oneself they must put themselves last in everything, have no care about their own life, and have no desire for rights or privileges, except that of belonging to God. When Jesus said to take up the cross, we can assume that because we all have a cross to bear, we should take up our vocation.
That means for us to follow Jesus regardless of the sacrifices we have to make. When we are told we should follow Jesus, it means that we should travel down the same road as Jesus and suffer the many trials of being a disciple.Thousands of people have suffered martyrdom for their faith and there are many unknown martyrs who have lost their lives for their faith in previous centuries.For Christians today, some may feel that religion has become ‘unfashionable’ in many areas of society. Sometimes things like money, greed or worst things like drug abuse can be a barrier between a person and the modern world.
There are some people who make great sacrifices to follow Jesus and one example of someone who did do this is Mother Theresa of Calcutta. It is still very difficult for someone to be a modern day disciple because so many things hinder the want and possibility of being able to make these kinds of sacrifices. But the rewards are still great but in a different way, and if the person’s faith is strong enough then they will not allow social attitudes to interfere with their chosen path.
I feel that in today’s world there are still some people who take the faith as seriously as the first Christians do. However I also believe that the message has been ‘watered down’ over the past 2,000 years and many Christians today are not making the sacrifices that were demanded then.To become a disciple is to be committed totally and involves sacrifices. In today’s world, people who become disciples of the Christian faith are asked to give up different things according to what form their discipleship may take.Just as Simon, Peter, James and John gave up their fishing and Levi his position as a tax collector, for some people today such as missionaries it has meant leaving their homes, family, friends and security behind to go out into a foreign country to serve God.
In the Roman Catholic Church priests are required to remain celibate and ministers of other churches choose to be celibate, as it is believed that celibacy allows a person to become devoted fully to God.So we can see how Jesus’ teachings about discipleships still affect Christians in today’s world as we often refer to the bible for advise in how to live a good, Christian life. Therefore all the early teachings still have significance today and are important if we want to live our vocations as well as we can.