Back when I was young in Christian maturity, my thinking about the meaning of the words ‘Disciple and Apostle’ were that they pretty well meant one and the same thing.
Not so I learned from my Bible dictionary which stated that ‘Disciple’ means ‘follower or learner’. Someone who follows another person submitting themselves to the teaching of that person.
While ‘Apostle’ means Messenger or Missionary. A person sent with a special message to give to the world.
Jesus called His chosen twelve, Disciples and Apostles in Luke 6:13 when – “He called His Disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named Apostles.” This means He was teaching many ‘Disciples’ who were following Him, and He chose the twelve to become ‘Apostles’.
When Jesus sent them out to perform miracles, heal the sick, tell others about His salvation, they were His messengers (Apostles) or in today’s language — Missionaries, Pastors, Preachers and Evangelists.
At the time this realization encouraged me and does so to this day.
I know I will never be a missionary or a preacher (although, some who know me may disagree about the latter) but I feel Jesus has equipped me to be a messenger of sorts by the gifts He has bestowed upon me.
Jesus has equipped me through my writings, my actions towards those around me, the words I speak and how I speak them as I give the message of His love, acceptance, kindness, salvation, servant-hood, and so much more, through all of the above methods of communication.
This will open the door for the Holy Spirit to send someone else with the next gifts required to finish the works.
If you feel as I do, most of the time I have trouble finding the right words to verbally witness to others about Jesus. Years ago Pastor Don took this burden off my shoulders when he said, “Perhaps you are a planter of the seed!” A Planter??? I looked it up and found in John 4:37 it says – “One sows and another reaps.” Whew! I can do that! I love to plant seeds, but I can’t hoe much with this back of mine.
“Soooo – what Seed do you want me to plant today Lord?”
Here’s a question for you to ponder!
“What kind of Seed does Jesus want you to plant today?”