Following Jesus: The Quest Begins 3
Following Jesus: The Quest Begins.
What Kind of Follower are you? Who is it that you follow? What does it mean to be a follower of Jesus: a disciple?
A disciple of Jesus was first of all a follower. Literally! He would walk when Jesus walked, sat when Jesus sat, ate when Jesus ate, and slept where and when Jesus slept. A disciple then, and today, is a believer and close follower of Jesus; though other less committed relationships are indicated (Matthew 8:21; 10:1; 12:49; Luke 14:27; Acts 6:1).
A disciple was also a pupil. He or she would learn what their master taught them. In the case of Jesus, his disciples received His teachings. However, Jesus’ pupils encountered a closer relationship than just receiving mere information. (Matthew 10:24-25).
The ultimate purpose of following Jesus’ leading and learning from His teaching is Christ-like character. To ultimately be like Jesus results from following and learning from Him.
The Bible indicates that there exists three different kinds of disciples. While the Bible does not affirm all three categories, it does recognize their existence. The three categories of disciples are (1) a false disciple; (2) a secret disciple; and (3) a committed disciple.
As we have already seen, a false disciple is one who appears to follow Jesus. A false disciple appears to submit to Jesus’ teachings, or God’s Word. However, it is all an appearance. An appearance is façade or an outward show. False disciples are not true converts to Christianity. It is not they were converted and then reverted to their pagan condition; the Bible teaches no such condition. Rather, they were never converted to Christ to begin with.
The second category is being a secret disciple. There is one explicit biblical example of such a person: Joseph of Arimithia.
The final category is a committed disciple. They are devoted to Jesus. They are staunch, steadfast, faithful and unswerving. They are not lukewarm in the commitment to Christ.
They seek to like their teacher (Matthew 10:24-25). They endeavor to do the will of God the Father (Matthew 12:46-50). They are people who count the cost of what it means to be a follower of Jesus (Matthew 16:24).
Jesus said, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will find it. For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul? Or what shall a man give in return for his soul” (Matthew 16:24-26)?
Are you a committed disciple? In what ways are you like Jesus? In what ways are you not and would like to be? Do you find submitting to the will of God easy or difficult? Why or why not? Are you currently seeking God’s will in a particular area of your life? Are you willing to do whatever the Bible says in identifying yourself as a follower of Jesus?
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