Who Are You? (Part 3)

Who Are You? (Part 3)

“Disciple” is exclusively a new testament word, except for Isaiah 8:16. It appears more than 250 times. Even though Jesus didn’t actually use the word disciple when He called Peter and Andrew to “follow” Him (Matthew 4:18-20; Mark 1:17-18), their response is an excellent illustration of what it means. If we are going to be Christians like Peter and Andrew were, we too must be DISCIPLES of Jesus Christ!

“What IS a ‘disciple’?” The Greek word means a “follower,” a student. A “disciple” accepts the guidance of another, following that person’s instructions. He becomes a “copy” of the teacher, “surrendering” himself in promoting the teacher’s beliefs, ideas, and example. First Peter 2:21 says that Jesus left US an example to follow. A disciple conforms his own life to the model his instructor
provides (cf. 1 Corinthians 11:1).

The new testament shows that the prophet John had disciples. In Matthew 9:14, they asked Jesus a question about fasting; in Luke 7:18-19 – while John was awaiting execution by Herod – he sent some of them to ask Jesus about His identity. The Pharisees also had disciples: Saul of Tarsus may have been a “leading light” among them (Acts 23:6 and Philippians 3:5 seem to suggest this). There were even some “Pharisee disciples” still among the Christians at Jerusalem long after the day of Pentecost (Acts 21:20), and their “heritage” was evidently the source of some problems among the saints!

MOST new testament disciples were Jesus’ followers, and they formed two distinct “kinds” of disciples: Some were “casual” disciples, the “loaves and fishes” followers whose only interest was the food Jesus had provided (John 6:26). There were ALSO “committed” disciples, as John 6:67-68 show; “…Jesus said to the twelve, ‘Do you also want to go away?’ 68 But Simon Peter answered Him, ‘Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.’”

What do disciples “DO?” and WHY do they do it? Disciples “copy” their teacher, as in John 13:15, where Jesus washed His apostles’ feet (the lesson here is to follow HIS example of willing service to others – NOT a command to “wash feet”). Genuine disciples obey their teacher’s instructions, thus acknowledging His authority over them (Cf. Acts 2:36; 17:30-31; John 12:48; and 1 Corinthians 4:6 – discipleship means recognizing that we cannot exceed the authority He gives!)

Being a disciple means acknowledging our “instructor” as the ultimate authority and pattern for our lives, Acts 3:22.

WHY should anyone be willing to “subsume” themselves fully in Christ? Because ONLY HE is our “hope of (eternal) glory” (Colossians 1:27). Because there simply is NOT any “other” way (Acts 4:12). Being a “disciple” means commitment, submission, (to Jesus), and contentment (trusting that God knows what is best for us even when WE don’t see it).

What if I “stop” being a disciple? GOD isn’t going to “change” (2 Timothy 2:13) just because I do – “the world doesn’t revolve around ME!” But 1 John 2:19 says I will be separated from those who continue with Him. Genuine Christians are disciples – who follow, imitate, and “model” the
example and teachings of Jesus in their own lives, for the hope of eternity with HIM, in heaven – John 14:3.



Add a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *