The term disciples was a byword during Jesus time on earth two thousand years ago. When Jesus began his ministry He recruited followers and He called them disciples – His disciples. Thus came the 12 disciples, and 72 others more, who followed Him during His mission on earth.
What is a Disciple?
A disciple is one who follows, embraces, teaches and spreads the teachings of a leader or master. Hence, discipleship is the act of bringing forth, making known and spreading the teachings of his master.
During Jesus’s ministry on earth, He spent a lot of time with His disciples. He taught them the ways to the Kingdom and He trained them the ways to make other disciples, like themselves.
The First Discipleship Act on Earth
However, the first discipleship act on earth happened even before Jesus was born. And it was not done by men disciples. It was done by a girl. A fourteen (others say twelve) year old girl.
That girl was Mary, the one whose womb was found worthy to contain God (all three in one person: the Father, Son and Holy Spirit). The girl who was found worthy to usher in the coming of God to the world and become a human being. Through her response of “Yes” to God she agreed to become the Mother of God.
And so it goes that an Angel appeared to this teenage girl and spoke to her about what was to happen.
She would carry in Her womb the long-prophesied Messiah of Israel. While the Angel’s message deeply troubled the girl, she obeyed and said “Yes” to the Angel.
“Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; let it be done to me according to your word,”Luke 1:37-38
The Angel then told Mary the rest of his message. Including that of Mary’s aging cousin Elizabeth being six months on the family way. And then the Angel left.
And the first discipleship act on earth happened.
Following the Angel’s departure, the teenage girl immediately sprung into action.
She didn’t waste time. She got up and travelled to the hill country of Judea to see her elderly cousin Elizabeth and to help her during the rest of her pregnancy to the the precursor of the Lord, who was now alive in her own womb as well.
Mary’s visit to Elizabeth was an act of bringing Christ to the world.
She was indeed the first and perfect disciple of God.
It also showed her to be in possession of a wisdom befitting that of the Mother of God, the Lord of wisdom Himself. It showed her as the perfect disciple of God, taking care of Elizabeth, seeing to it that Elizabeth was doing well, and that her pregnancy was going well, taking care that the plan of God towards man’s redemption would go unhindered and be fulfilled as God intended it to be.