The word "disciple" when directly translated means "learner". In biblical times, when a person expressed interest in becoming a disciple of someone else, they were communicating their desire for that person's life. The relationship between a discipler and disciple would actually be defined by this desire. There was a teacher, and there was a learner. The goal was for the disciple to become like the discipler. This is God's goal for us as disciples of Jesus. The number one thing God is always up to in our lives is transforming us into the likeness of Jesus.
For God knew his people in advance, and he chose them to become like his Son, so that his Son would be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters. (Romans 8:29)
What this means is that God had a plan before the beginning of time to shape us into the image of his Son, Jesus. This is a lifelong process. We orient our lives around him, and over time, we learn his ways and live his ways.
Jesus invites us to learn his ways.
Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly. (Matthew 11:28-30)
Jesus invites us to live his ways.
I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. (John 14:12)
Being a disciple means becoming a lifelong learner of Jesus. It's a commitment to learn how to apply the gospel to absolutely every part of life. Discipleship is about letting God bring about change in our lives from the inside out so we become more like his Son. We're becoming more like Jesus because he was the perfect example of what humanity was supposed to look like. His life is what God intended for us. So, if we're growing in Christlikeness by learning and living the ways of Jesus, what are you learning right now?