Are You a Disciple or an Apostle?

Did you learn the song about the twelve disciples as a child? I learned it as an adult, actually, when my father-in-law taught my son years ago.

Part of the lyrics of the song goes like this:

"There were twelve disciples
Jesus called to help Him
Simon Peter, Andrew, James, his brother John,
Phillip, Thomas, Matthew,
James the son of Alpheus
Simon, Thaddeus, Judas,
and Bartholomew."

What is the difference between an apostle or a disciple? I didn't think there was any difference until I heard Bishop Martires' sermon this morning. He differentiates the two as follows: a disciple is someone who is learning from a teacher. The student must spend time and be with the teacher first. An apostle, on the other hand, is one who is already sent out by the teacher (in this case, Jesus) to spread the Word or the good news as he has already gone through the disciple phase. If I understood it correctly, you have to be a disciple first before you can be an apostle.

Bishop Martires further pointed out that if we were to look at the disciples and/or apostles chosen by Christ, there was nothing special about them. It is because God does not judge using human standards. He does not look at what we do or who we are but He focuses on what we can become with His grace.

So, the next time you think you hear God's call to be a disciple or an apostle, don't reply by saying: "Who me?" "Are you sure?" or "Why me?" Believe me, you will be used by God, in the strangest of ways and in the strangest of situations, in a manner you never expected. Just be ready...and thankful.

Blessings, everyone!

[By Angelica Viloria | Saturday, October 28, 2006]


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