Disciple is the term consistently used in the four Gospels to mark the relationship existing between Christ and His followers. Jesus used it Himself in speaking of them, and they in speaking of each other. Neither did it pass out of use in the new days of Pentecostal power. It runs right through the Acts of the Apostles. It is interesting also to remember that it was in this way that the angels thought and spoke of these men; the use of the word in the days of the Incarnation is linked to the use of the word in the apostolic age by the angelic message to the women, "Go, tell his Disciples and Peter" (Mark 16: 7).
The word itself signifies a taught or trained one and gives us the ideal of relationship. Jesus is the Teacher. He has all knowledge of the ultimate purposes of God for humanity, of the will of God concerning us, of the laws of God that mark for us the path of our progress and final crowning.
Disciples are those who gather around this Teacher and are trained by Him. Seekers after truth, not merely in the abstract, but as a life force, come to Him and join the circle of those to whom He reveals these great secrets of all true life. Sitting at His feet, they learn from the unfolding of His lessons the will and ways of God for them; and obeying each successive word, they realize within themselves the renewing force and uplifting power. The true and perpetual condition of discipleship, and its ultimate issue, were clearly declared by the Lord Himself "to those Jews who believed on Him." "If you abide in My word, then are you truly My disciples; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free " (John 8:31).
Adapted from Discipleship, I. Becoming a Disciple, by G. Campbell Morgan.