He lifted his hand to heal. His heart was at peace.” (Lucado, Max, “Grace for the Moment”, 2000, J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, Tennessee, ISBN: 0-8499-5624-2, p.44).
This excerpt should clearly point to the answer to the above question. Yet, knowing that Matthew, John, Mark and Luke (John and Matthew being among Jesus’ disciples and apostles) wrote the four Gospels of the New Testament, shouldn’t we set the question whether only the apostles and individuals (believers and followers) from His time (I century AD) and later should be considered His disciples? Haven’t we all Christians been His disciples for 20 centuries and more, even those whose atheism has been only a product of the communist regime in some countries? To be able to answer this question, we should clearly understand the meaning of the word disciple. Literally, it means a learner, or someone who follows another’s teaching. To be a disciple of Jesus, therefore means to have a strong desire to follow Jesus and become like him. To become like Jesus, one needs endless love in his/her heart. If we consider ourselves disciples of Jesus, good enough to write maybe a New Testament, we should ask ourselves whether we have this endless love for everything alive on this Earth and whether we are true believers. I strongly doubt it.