Want to stump your friends? Ask them, “Are you a disciple of Jesus?”
It’s a question that we rarely hear or ponder. My guess is that you probably don’t know how to answer it. It might even give you a deer-in-the-headlight look (just like your friend when you asked them).
Some might say, “Weren’t the disciples the ones who were with Jesus? So, how can I be a disciple?” Others might say that they are Christian, or they go to church or that they are Lutheran, Catholic, Baptist, etc.
Here’s what a disciple is not:
- A disciple is not a convert to a church. There have been many people who are converted to a church or an organization but not to Christ. And when the church crumbles so does their faith. I have talked to many wounded people who have left the church and their faith because of what the church did.
- A disciple is not one who converts to a pastor. There are those whose whole spiritual life is wrapped up in following their pastor or priest. They base their faith on that person. If that pastor should stumble and fall so does their faith. I have talked to many angry and bitter people who have left their faith because of the fallenness of a pastor or priest.
Ultimately, a disciple is one who confesses Jesus as Lord and Savior and follows him.
- A disciple believes that Jesus is who He said He is: the divine Son of God who came to save us from our sin.
- A disciple is one who diligently studies at the foot of his master, who learns from His Word throughout their lifetime.
Unfortunately and to our great detriment we have divorced the idea of being a Christian from being a disciple. Did you know that Jesus never referred to his followers as Christians? They were always called his disciples. It wasn’t until later on that followers were known as Christians.
To be a Christian is to be a follower of Jesus. To be a follower of Jesus is to be a disciple.
So, are you a disciple?
In Part 2 we’ll explore more of how to answer that question.