Our study in Bible Talk Today is:
What Is a Disciple?
Two thousand years ago, Jesus walked up to a handful of men and said, Follow me. Imagine being one of those original disciples. They were ordinary people like you and me.They had jobs, families, hobbies, and social lives. As they went about their business on the day Jesus called them, none of them would have expected his life to change so quickly and completely. The disciples could not have fully understood what they were getting into when they responded to Jesus's call. Whatever expectations or doubts, whatever curiosity, excitement, or uncertainty they felt, nothing could have prepared them for what lay ahead. Everything about Jesus,His teaching, compassion, and wisdom; His life, death, and resurrection; His power, authority, and calling, would shape every aspect of the rest of their lives. In only a few years, these simple men were standing before some of the most powerful rulers on earth and being accused of turning the world upside down (Acts 17:6). What began as simple obedience to the call of Jesus ended up changing their lives, and ultimately, the world.
What does it mean to be a disciple of Jesus Christ?
As you will discover, the answer is fairly simple, but it changes your life completely. The word disciple refers to a student or apprentice. Disciples in Jesus's day would follow their rabbi (which means teacher) wherever he went, learning from the rabbi's teaching and being trained to do as the rabbi did. Basically, a disciple is a follower, but only if we take the term follower literally. Becoming a disciple of Jesus is as simple as obeying His call to follow. When Jesus called His first disciples, they may not have understood where Jesus would take them or the impact it would have on their lives, but they knew what it meant to follow. They took Jesus's call literally and began going everywhere He went and doing everything He did. It's impossible to be a disciple or a follower of someone and not end up like that person. Jesus said, "A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher" (Luke 6:40). That's the whole point of being a disciple of Jesus: we imitate Him, carry on His ministry, and become like Him in the process. Yet somehow many have come to believe that a person can be a Christian without being like Christ. That's a follower who doesn't follow.
How does that make any sense? Many people in the church have decided to take on the name of Christ and nothing else. This would be like Jesus walking up to those first disciples and saying, "Hey, would you guys mind identifying yourselves with Me in some way? Don't worry, I don't actually care if you do anything I do or change your lifestyle at all. I'm just looking for people who are willing to say they believe in Me and call themselves Christians" Seriously? No one can really believe that this is all it means to be a Christian. But then why do so many people live this way? It appears that we've lost sight of what it means to be a follower of Jesus. The concept of being a disciple isn't difficult to understand, but it affects everything.
1. Up to this point in your life, would you call yourself a follower of Jesus Christ? Why do you say that? Do you see evidence of your faith as described in Luke 6:40?
The Scriptures then say, ?If you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved? (Rom. 10:9).
We are saved by the grace of God through faith in Jesus Christ. It is all about who Jesus is and what He has done. Part of our repentance is to turn from believing that there?s anything we can do to save ourselves?for everything was accomplished by Jesus Christ. The thought that someone else has paid for our crimes is strange to most of us because it defies our natural way of thinking. And the idea that we need to trust in another person?s sacrifice on our behalf is even more foreign. But understand that while it is strange to us, it is consistent with God?s actions throughout the Scriptures. We get a picture of this when we read the book of Exodus. In this story, Moses warned Pharaoh repeatedly about what God would do if he did not repent. It climaxed when God said He would bring death to the firstborn of every household if they did not repent. Meanwhile, He told His people that if they put the blood of a lamb over their doorposts, His angel would pass over their homes and not kill the firstborn of that house. So even in the story of the exodus, we see that people had to trust in the blood of a lamb to save them - and this was the Only way that they could be saved.