Which image more likely shows a disciple of Jesus? Left: woman “alone” in prison. Right: Contemporary Christian Worship Service with many “believers.”

You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. All men will hate you because of me. (Words of Jesus recorded in Luke 21:16-17)

by Brian Shilhavy

Do you know if you are a disciple of Jesus Christ or not?

It is a question that is actually very easy to answer, as it is definitively answered in the Bible, by the recorded words of Jesus Christ himself.

But first we need to define “disciple,” because in modern Christianity today, most understand the term “disciple” to be synonymous with “Christian.”

If we use the text of the New Testament to define these words, however, it is very clear that “Christian” and “disciple” are not synonymous at all.

The word “Christian” is only used 3 times in the New Testament, and it is never used by Jesus, and his followers and disciples also never used the term to refer to themselves. It was used by those outside of the fellowships and who were mainly critical of the disciples of Jesus.

I have written entire articles on the word “Christian” and “Christianity,” so I will not repeat that here. For more discussion on this see:

Fact Check: “Christianity” and the Christian Religion is NOT Found in the Bible – The Person Jesus Christ Is

Jesus very clearly distinguished between those who were his “disciples” from among the religious class, which during his day were “Jews” and not “Christians,” and he had harsh words for those who were religious but did not know God, and this is best seen in the Gospel of John in Chapter 8.

To the “disciples”:

To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:31-32)

To the unbelieving Jews:

You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desire.

He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.

Yet because I tell the truth, you do not believe me! Can any of you prove me guilty of sin? If I am telling the truth, why don’t you believe me?

He who belongs to God hears what God says. The reason you do not hear is that you do not belong to God.” (John 8:44-47)

If you want to apply this principle to modern times and the most dominant religion in the U.S. today, just replace “Jews” with “Christians” in the words of Jesus above.

So now that I have defined “disciple,” which in English would be synonymous with words like “student,” “pupil,” “apprentice,” etc., let’s answer the question I started this article with: Do you know if you are a disciple of Jesus Christ or not?

As I wrote above, this is actually a very easy question to answer, as Jesus was very clear on this topic, with little room to doubt.

The requirement to be a disciple of Jesus Christ:

… any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:33)

If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26)

Anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and anyone who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. Whoever finds his life will lose it, and whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. (Matthew 10:37-39)

How to recognize a true disciple of Jesus Christ, or how disciples of Jesus are treated by the masses:

You will be betrayed even by parents, brothers, relatives and friends, and they will put some of you to death. (Luke 21:16)

All men will hate you because of me, but he who stands firm to the end will be saved. (Matthew 10:22)

They will put you out of the synagogue (“church” today); in fact, a time is coming when anyone who kills you will think he is offering a service to God. (John 16:2)

“I tell you the truth,” Jesus said to them, “no one who has left home or wife or brothers or parents or children for the sake of the kingdom of God will fail to receive many times as much in this age and, in the age to come, eternal life.” (Luke 18:29-30)

Given the high cost of being a true disciple of Jesus Christ, very few take (or even look for) that narrow path:

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. (Matthew 7:13-14)

For many are invited, but few are chosen. (Matthew 22:14)

What kind of people became disciples of Jesus when he walked on the earth?

When the teachers of the law who were Pharisees saw him eating with the “sinners” and tax collectors, they asked his disciples: “Why does he eat with tax collectors and “sinners’?”

On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (Mark 2:16-17)

When a woman who had lived a sinful life in that town learned that Jesus was eating at the Pharisee’s house, she brought an alabaster jar of perfume, and as she stood behind him at his feet weeping, she began to wet his feet with her tears. Then she wiped them with her hair, kissed them and poured perfume on them.

When the Pharisee who had invited him saw this, he said to himself, “If this man were a prophet, he would know who is touching him and what kind of woman she is–that she is a sinner.” (e.g. a prostitute)  (Luke 7:37-39)

Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things–and the things that are not–to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. (words of Paul in 1 Corinthians 1:26-29)

Given what Jesus said, therefore, about what it takes to be one of his disciples, and the written account about the kind of people that became his disciples, where do you think you are most likely to find disciples of Jesus Christ today in the United States?

I can testify that in my own personal experience as an American, especially these past 20 years or so as I began to publicly go “against the tide” of common cultural beliefs, such as selling food the Government called “unhealthy”, exposing the Satanic medical system and things like vaccines, or pointing out how Christians are participating in child trafficking through Foster Care and Adoption, that I have NOT been welcome in Corporate Christian Churches, and cannot say that I really knew of anyone who resembled a “disciple” as defined by Jesus in those places.

But I have met people who have spent time in jail or prison trying to fight the system, (and have even narrowly missed being incarcerated several times myself having been falsely accused of crimes I did not commit) that resemble what a true “disciple” is according to the words of Jesus.

I have also talked to many homeless people living on the streets, many who live there by choice, because they no longer fit into society and have chosen to live on the streets instead, and even there I have found people that resemble a “disciple” more according to what Jesus wrote, than what I have encountered in Corporate Christianity.

How about you? Do you know if you are a disciple of Jesus or not?

All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.

And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.

For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:37-40)