Are we being a light to the world? Are we being disciples to Christ? We are like the first disciples that followed Christ when He began His ministry! We are to continue to show the world and our communities that we are doing what we are commissioned to do and be a light to the world and be disciples of Christ and teach His word and truth!
Isaiah 49:1-7 (NRSV)
The Servant’s Mission
49 “Listen to me, O coastlands,
pay attention, you peoples from far away!
The Lord called me before I was born,
while I was in my mother’s womb he named me.
2 He made my mouth like a sharp sword,
in the shadow of his hand he hid me;
he made me a polished arrow,
in his quiver he hid me away.
3 And he said to me, “You are my servant,
Israel, in whom I will be glorified.”
4 But I said, “I have labored in vain,
I have spent my strength for nothing and vanity;
yet surely my cause is with the Lord,
and my reward with my God.”
5 And now the Lord says,
who formed me in the womb to be his servant,
to bring Jacob back to him,
and that Israel might be gathered to him,
for I am honored in the sight of the Lord,
and my God has become my strength—
6 he says,
“It is too light a thing that you should be my servant
to raise up the tribes of Jacob
and to restore the survivors of Israel;
I will give you as a light to the nations,
that my salvation may reach to the end of the earth.”
7 Thus says the Lord,
the Redeemer of Israel and his Holy One,
to one deeply despised, abhorred by the nations,
the slave of rulers,
“Kings shall see and stand up,
princes, and they shall prostrate themselves,
because of the Lord, who is faithful,
the Holy One of Israel, who has chosen you.”
If you are a true disciple, you will be challenged and excited, and you will have a sense of purpose and direction. But if your Christian experience can be described as dull, unfulfilling, and even boring at times, you need to seriously examine the statements Jesus made concerning what it means to be a disciple. After all, how can we expect to fulfill the Great Commission (Mark 16:15; Matthew 28:19) to go into all the world and make disciples if we don’t even really know what one is? It literally takes one to make one.
A disciple is defined as a learner, a pupil, one who comes to be taught.
The relationship between the disciple and his teacher is not merely that of a student listening to a lecturer, or a passively interested listener. A disciple listens with attention and intention. He absorbs in every word of his teacher, marking every inflection of voice with an intense desire to apply what has been learned.
John 1:29-42 (NRSV)
The Lamb of God
29 “The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, “Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world! 30 This is he of whom I said, ‘After me comes a man who ranks ahead of me because he was before me.’ 31 I myself did not know him; but I came baptizing with water for this reason, that he might be revealed to Israel.” 32 And John testified, “I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him. 33 I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water said to me, ‘He on whom you see the Spirit descend and remain is the one who baptizes with the Holy Spirit.’34 And I myself have seen and have testified that this is the Son of God.”
The First Disciples of Jesus
35 “The next day John again was standing with two of his disciples, 36 and as he watched Jesus walk by, he exclaimed, “Look, here is the Lamb of God!” 37 The two disciples heard him say this, and they followed Jesus. 38 When Jesus turned and saw them following, he said to them, “What are you looking for?” They said to him, “Rabbi” (which translated means Teacher), “where are you staying?” 39 He said to them, “Come and see.” They came and saw where he was staying, and they remained with him that day. It was about four o’clock in the afternoon. 40 One of the two who heard John speak and followed him was Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother. 41 He first found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Messiah” (which is translated Anointed). 42 He brought Simon to Jesus, who looked at him and said, “You are Simon son of John. You are to be called Cephas” (which is translated Peter).”
Jesus makes it clear that when it comes to personal discipleship, He is more interested in quality than quantity. The words He spoke that day are perhaps the most solemn and searching words that ever fell from His lips.
A disciple is not merely someone who knows scripture and doctrine:
Just because you can quote scripture not make you a disciple!
Just because you can articulate Christian doctrine doesn’t make you a disciple!
Just because you are familiar with various theological issues does not make you a disciple!
A fully trained disciple will be like his teacher! A disciple is a student, follower and imitator of Christ!
If you are a Christian AND a disciple, you bear your cross daily, abide in the word, and love as Christ loves!
Are you a disciple of Christ? If not, then make the decision to be one today! Being a Christian and being a disciple should be the same. Every Christian is a disciple of Christ, which means he is a follower and imitator of Christ. In order to be followers of Christ, we need to remain in the word, then bear fruit, of which the greatest is the fruit of love.