What does it mean to be a disciple?
A disciple is a person who embraces and assists in spreading the teachings of another. They are active, adherent, of a movement. They are a follower of doctrine or a school of thought. A student, a pupil, a believer, and a follower.
A disciple is not a leader, teacher, master, guru, swani, a mentor, etc.
We know that Jesus chose 12 individuals to be his first disciples, students of His teaching and followers of His “movement”. They referred to Him as Rabbi (which means scholar, a qualified person trained and ordained for leadership).
When we go to school, we sit in a classroom with a teacher who gives us information and instructions for the particular subject. Usually we are given some format of a book or eBook to help us with additional information on how to learn, understand and grow in that area. As we listen to the teacher, study and apply what we are learning, we grow to know and understand more in that subject.
When we say we are followers of Christ, we are saying that we position ourselves to learn from the Son of God. We are not walking into this classroom to be the leader, or guru, or professor of this subject. No, we become the pupil. We study the Word of God because is teaches us a “new way” to live and gives us fresh understanding about topics that we are maybe aware of, but perhaps not very knowledgeable about. It provides insight and revelation on life subjects that arise.
Throughout our history, people have been disciples to many things and many people (consciously or unconsciously). We have leaned on the teaching of experts to help navigate us through understanding a particular area. Moreover, it is one of the reasons why the self-help, business, and financial support industries generate billions of dollars each year.
Now, let me be clear, I am not saying we do not need people in every field with a high degree of skill and knowledge of a particular subject. We do! We need the gifts of those with special knowledge and ability to perform skillfully in their own genius.
We all want to know how to do life, better. In every area. We desire to know how to navigate our internal affairs, our relational affairs, and our financial. However, we must not get to off balance with simply craving more information. Information without grace and revelation is just head knowledge.
What Jesus Christ brought was:
Completely understanding and experience of every situation under the sun (He was touched by our weaknesses and infirmities). He was in the beginning of all creation.
Power and authority to speak about it because of His knowledge and insight on the area. (People marveled at His teachings because He spoke as one with authority)
Supernatural ability to gracefully live what He taught, as well as a promise to give that same supernatural ability to those who also believed. (The holy spirit who is a helper and comforter)
One of the things that kept me away from following Jesus for so long was because I thought that those who believed in Him were following something blindly and ignorantly because maybe the “white man” had colonized them into doing so. This is a strong argument that I still hear ongoing today.
It was not until I was in a position, like the first disciples Jesus, when they were just "minding their business", fishing in their boat when Jesus said to them, “Come and follow me”.
In my heart, I knew I needed a Savior. So, I had to silence the voices of peoples opinions, my own prejudice thoughts and ideas and open up my heart to the idea that if He was real, He would reveal Himself to me and make the way apparent.
It was Jesus who was highlighted to me personally.
By faith, I asked Him to come and dwell my heart, and transform my life. I remember asking my coworker if she would baptize me. She was a Christian, and the only one I knew at the time. We went down to a public beach and she baptized me in the water. She gave me the instructions to bring a pen and a paper down with me because I may “hear something”. I had no clue what that meant, but I brought my pen and paper anyways. After I came up from the water, I went and sat down on the shoreline. I took a moment to take in what just happened.
I considered that in scripture, a man named John the Baptist, the forerunner of Jesus, admonished everyone to repent and get baptized in anticipation for the kingdom of Heaven to come here on earth. As I sat there in the sand, I heard a still small, but distinct voice speak within me. “You can no longer ignore my spirit, for now my spirit lives within you.”
You have to understand that I in my natural mind would never say anything like that to myself. I knew it was the voice of God and the promise that I had now received the Holy Spirit. Jesus when He was baptized received the Holy Spirit upon Him when He was arouse from the water. His disciples later received it upon them in the book of Acts, after Jesus resurrected from the grave. The Holy Spirit is a gift and power given to overcome this world available to anyone who will believe.
Students of Jesus are promised access to the supernatural abilities by the Spirit, who was also in Jesus, who enabled Him to do miracles here on earth, and who equipped Him to fulfill His ministry. We have been promised access to:
1. A Revealer of the Mysteries of God
2. A Comforter
3. A Counselor
4. A Convictor of Sin
So, if you have decided to learn, study and apply the teachings of Jesus to your life, understand that class is in session. You will be required to humble yourself to learn a new way. Meditating on the Word of God day and night will be issued homework, so you can apply what it says when the test, trials, and temptations come. And, once you apply it and watch what it says, it will come alive in your life!
If it says do something, and you do it, you can watch it produce the stated outcome.
This is a course in life that has blessings and guaranteed outcomes. It does not lie and it does not return void. You may have to continually study it because it is a course you take for a lifetime, but it fulfills what it promises.
Until next time,