A scholar, Mt 10:24. In the New Testament it is applied principally to the followers of Christ; sometimes to those of John the Baptist, Mt 22:16. It is used in a special manner to point out the twelve, Mt 10:1; 11:1; 20:17. A disciple of Christ may now be defined as one who believes his doctrine, rests upon his sacrifice, imbibes his spirit, imitates his example, and lives to do his work.
a scholar, sometimes applied to the followers of John the Baptist (Mt 9:14), and of the Pharisees (Mt 22:16), but principally to the followers of Christ. A disciple of Christ is one who (1) believes his doctrine, (2) rests on his sacrifice, (3) imbibes his spirit, and (4) imitates his example (Mt 10:24; Lu 14:26-27,33; Joh 6:69).
??????? This word signifies strictly 'a learner' or 'pupil.' The Pharisees had such, whom they taught to fast. Mt 22:16; Mr 2:18. John the Baptist had disciples, who likewise fasted. Mt 9:14; Lu 5:33; Joh 3:25. The Lord Jesus had His disciples: the apostles whom He chose to be with Him are called His 'twelve disciples,' Mt 11:1; but in other places the term is applied to all who followed the Lord, many of whom 'went back and walked no more with him.' Joh 6:60-66. When great multitudes followed the Lord, He turned to them and bade them count the cost of really following Him. Such an one must hate (in comparison with Christ) all his natural relations and his own life also. He must take up his cross and follow Christ, and he must forsake all that he had, or he could not be His disciple. Lu 14:26-33. On another occasion Jesus said to the Jews that believed on Him, "If ye abide in my word, ye are truly my disciples." Joh 8:31. It was true association in heart with a rejected Christ. Mt 10:24-25; Joh 15:8.
DISCIPLE. The proper signification of this word is a learner; but it signifies in the New Testament, a believer, a Christian, a follower of Jesus Christ. Disciple is often used instead of Apostle in the Gospels; but, subsequently, Apostles were distinguished from disciples. The seventy-two who followed our Saviour from the beginning, are called disciples; as are others who were of the body of believers, and bore no office. In subsequent times, the name disciple, in the sense of learner, was sometimes given to the ?????????????, "auditores," persons who, in the primitive church, were receiving a preparatory instruction in Christianity. They were divided into two classes, those who received private instruction, and those who were admitted to the congregations, and were under immediate preparation for baptism. The church readers were, in some places, appointed to instruct the catechumens; and at Alexandria, where often learned men presented themselves for instruction, the office of catechist was filled by learned laymen, and these catechists laid the foundation of an important theological school.