Describing what the life of a true disciple of Jesus looks like
Most Christians will tell you that once you are called to Christ, it means you are called to be "footstep followers of Jesus." While this description is easily given, it is not so easily explained. How can we walk in his footsteps as a disciple when we are really nothing like him? He was perfect, we are not. He gave his life as a ransom for Adam and therefore bought back the human race from sin. We have no such mission or value. Jesus performed miracles and taught profound lessons. We can just appreciate his miracles and spend our time absorbing what he taught. So, what is following Jesus all about? In his own words, Jesus told us to deny ourselves. What does that mean? Are we supposed to live in a way that makes us never do what we want to do? The Apostle Paul said, "I die daily." What did he mean?
We usually think about loving Jesus and being his disciple as two ways to describe the same thing, but this isn't a complete conclusion. At one particular point in Jesus' ministry he was speaking to the crowds that flocked around him. Regarding being his true followers, he told them there would come a point they would end up on the outside looking in. Jesus explained their reaction would be one of shock and surprise. They would recount to him their interactions with him and their following along with him, but Jesus' response would be, “I never knew you!”
Are we followers or just fans?
This tells us discipleship entails much more than familiarity and appreciation. It requires a changing of one’s life and an overhauling of one’s most basic priorities. Jesus himself described the path required to follow him as a "narrow way," a way few actually find. His continual teaching and personal example regarding serving others, being humble and seeking God’s will above all else verifies this. What Jesus didn’t expand upon regarding being his footstep follower, the Apostles and writers of the New Testament did. Based on all of this, has our conclusion changed regarding loving and appreciating Jesus in comparison to actual discipleship?
Even if this is enough to give us pause, we also need to consider the basic question of how discipleship actually begins. Is the decision to follow Jesus an entirely personal decision, one that you might discuss with close family members? While this IS part of the discipleship process it is not the beginning of it.
Discipleship actually begins with God Himself. The Bible plainly tells us He is the one who decides who has opportunity to follow Jesus and who does not. This simple statement opens the door for a whole host of new questions!
Check out our October 14, 2019 podcast, “Jesus Died For You! Are You Dying For Him?” for answers. We examine what discipleship is, how it starts and how it progresses. We break down the basic discipleship decision, what true devotion looks like and how to access genuine discipline. Putting these pieces together reveals the mosaic of what a true follower of Jesus looks like. This is an image we all need to see!
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