The man is discipled not when he completes a period of time studying content, but when through conversation with Holy Spirit is transformed into Christlikeness. A “great” disciple is he who has been “greatly” transformed.
And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another. For this comes from the Lord who is the Spirit.(2 Cor. 3:18)
Notice the apostle takes the transformee through 3 crucial stages. First, the veil that lies over the understanding of Christ must be taken away. This is no easy feat given that all the whole lies in unbelief and under the sway of the wicked one. Only the enlightening touch of the Holy Spirit can remove that heavy yoke.
Secondly, they must behold the glory of the Lord. After the initial veil is removed, the desire of the soul must become fixated on something. That something is the very glory of the risen Christ. The disciple must delight themselves on a Christ who is more beautiful and lovely than all the world’s loves and temptations. This is a long process that doesn’t happen immediately, but is the aim of the Christian life.
Thirdly, transformation occurs. The disciple becomes as the master. The student becomes likes the teacher. The child become a man. The mortal man, a former enemy, becomes like the risen Lord.
This is why discipleship cannot primarily be programmatic. It must be transformative. Both the discipler and the disciple must have a biblical vision for transformation. Christ commanded His people to make disciples, not converts. He wanted the leadership of His church to resemble that of His own while upon the earth.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.(Mt. 28:19)
In truth, there are far fewer disciples than church goers. We may be surprised if this veil were to be drawn back. How can we be apart of changing the culture of discipleship in our churches?