Being a Disciple of Jesus
This is our theme at South Macomb for 2017
Most often believers in Jesus refer to themselves as Christians, which is a Biblical name. It is a special name meaning “belonging to Christ.” However, it is not the predominant name believers are called. The name Christian is only used 3 times in the New Testament.
Do you think of yourself and call yourself a “disciple” of Jesus? The word “disciple(s)” is used around 270 times in the New Testament.
There are at least 3 aspects to being a disciple of Jesus:
A disciple is a student or pupil who desires to become like the Master.
Just like an apprenticeship relationship, a disciple is committed to learn something from a person who has mastered certain skills. People came to Jesus, and they became His “disciples” because they wanted to learn from Him (Matthew 5:1-2). The goal of a disciple-teacher relationship is laid out by Jesus when He said, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher” (Luke 6:39-40).
This requires us to devote our whole lives to God’s word. So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, "If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free" (John 8:31-32). When we devote ourselves to learning everything we can from Jesus, then we will start to think, look and sound like Him. Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus (Acts 4:13).
A disciple is one who has left all to follow the Master with absolute commitment.
The twelve who became apostles showed us this example by leaving all behind to follow Jesus (Matthew 4:20-22; 9:9; 19:27). Jesus had many blunt discussions with individuals and crowds about the high cost of following Him (Luke 9:57-62; 14:16-35; 18:18-27). Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me” (Matthew 16:24).
In John 6, many disciples turned back and stopped following Jesus, which by definition means they were no longer Jesus’ disciples. On that day, Jesus turned to the twelve and asked, “Will you also go away?” Peter’s answer was the answer of a true disciple. “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have believed and come to know that You are the Holy One of God” (John 6:66-69).
So, are you a disciple of Jesus?
- Are you completely devoted to His word and whatever He tells you to do?
- Are you committed to being completely trained by Him, whatever that means and whatever that takes?
- Are you committed to follow Him, with no turning back?
- What are you willing to leave behind to follow Jesus?
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age" (Matthew 28:18-20).
A disciple is one who goes out and makes disciples of others so that they will also follow Jesus.
The disciples (students and followers of Jesus) were sent out to make more disciples. As Jesus works within us and we see the beauty and value of this relationship with Him, we look outward to others to share this same message with them. This is not to be secret or private knowledge kept within an elite club, it is to be shared with the whole world.
Come join us on our journey this year at South Macomb as we strive to truly be disciples of Jesus. Our sermons and Bible classes will be designed around shaping our minds to think and behave as the Lord would have us. We are grateful for the grace that Jesus gives to us, and we want to show honor and glory to God because of His grace by “growing in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” (2 Peter 3:18).