Jesus never used the word Christian(but he did use the word disciple)
Then he said to them
all: "Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross
daily and follow me. For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever
loses their life for me will save it”.
What is a disciple? What is discipleship?
The Greek word for disciple is mathetes, meaning learner or student. Discipleship is a process of learning. Jesus received direct revelation from his Father and he gave that to his students (disciples). They then grew in understanding and made disciples themselves. Jesus was a rabbi and at that time, in his culture, the understanding of discipleship was about receiving teaching and passing that on. A disciple would learn from the rabbi, become like the rabbi, and take that back to their community, raising up disciples of their own.