Wednesday, 20 April 2016
BEING A DISCIPLE
BEING A DISCIPLE
So I recently re-watched a Jesus film. Jesus of Nazareth by Franco Zeffirelli's. It was one of those films we watched a lot as kids, for some reason an it was actually an annual ritual considering its 6 hours long
Anyways I hadn’t watched it in a while so I decided to give it a go and watched it in bits, It’s divided into 4 parts so it was easy to schedule. What strikes me at first is how Biblically accurate it is. I appreciated the effort the director did to actually follow the scripture as accurate as possible. As compared to some of the current Biblical based movies he really tried to include the message very well and it is always clear what the purpose of Christ was.
So yes highly recommended
For some reason I got curious what it means to be a disciple. Because of how they were depicted in the film they seemed very human with real struggles.
It is easy to judge them because of their weaknesses but how differently would we have acted in their place.
First you have to deal with a man calling Himself the Messiah in a day and age where they were not as many and the focus was on Roman rule and how to survive the oppression. Also because it was someone known to people since He was a child and seemed like an ordinary fellow and suddenly your next door neighbor is a messiah, yes for sure there would be some skepticism
Then there is this issue with Judas. Over the years I have learnt to cut Judas some slack, here is why. Judas was part of the Zealots and the Zealots wanted to devise a plan to overthrow the Roman government and become free from their rule. So when he came across Jesus who said He was the Messiah, he automatically thought Jesus was going to be a political leader similar to the Kings they had had in the past. He was expecting a militant king like David who would lead them to victory.
His accepting to betray him was a way to provoke Christ to act into the military role he was expecting. But because instead Jesus was crucified, Judas was riddled with guilt over what he had done. He blamed himself for Jesus death and could not see how he could get any form of redemption from what he did. He clearly was not really paying attention to the times Jesus mentioned His crucifixion and resurrection.
How often have we as believers let our daunting circumstances overwhelm us that we cannot even recall God’s truth. How many times do we just give up and not seek God’s purpose for allowing things to happen. Maybe Judas rushed and killed himself too fast because of his guilt but what if you were in the position of betraying the Savior of the World, the Messiah and he actually dies, what would you do?
Then there is Peter and denying Jesus. Most people do not do well with being confronted an especially when it’s a controversial topic and you are on the opposite side of what majority think. Or the side you currently support is looking really bad and you just do not want people to associate yourself with it.
That is what Peter was facing. We have all been in a place where you want to disassociate yourself with a controversial matter you may have been involved in.
It is easy to say we would not have done what Peter did but when you have been following someone for 3 years and suddenly the government comes and arrests him and tries him as an enemy of the state, the truth is you would be tempted to say you did not know him at all just to save yourself.
Then there is the matter of Thomas. This guy always need Jesus to prove Himself to him one way or another. Was it because he was weak? How many times have we just felt there way no way Jesus was going to come through for us in a situation and we want proof that He will. How many times have we tried to do things our own way before we surrender it to Him. We have our doubts as well
I could go on and on but it is important for us to know what following Jesus will cost us and be willing to go through with the cost.
He promised us in Matthew 28:19-20 that He would be with us always even till the end of the age, meaning we are not going to do it on our own strength.
So here are some points I came across from various sources on what being a disciple means to us today. There are very many but I have picked a few.
Our decisions will either encourage or discourage spiritual growth so they are very crucial.
· Being a disciple of Jesus means you are a follower of Jesus Mark 2:14
· Being a disciple means loving Jesus more than anyone else Luke 14:26
· Being a disciple means bearing fruit John 15:8
· Being a disciple of Jesus means studying and obeying God’s word. John 8:31
· Being a disciple means loving one another John 13:35
· Being a disciple means denying [surrender] yourself and taking up the cross Luke 9:23
· Being a disciple means forsaking all you have Luke 14:33
· Being a disciple means counting the cost Luke 14:28
Those are just a few I came across and yes they are not easy
There is a lot one has to consider but the beauty is we have Christ to help us through the power of the Holy Spirit that is why He sent us a helper.
I encourage you to be the best disciple you can be and also to disciple others.
It is important that we reach out to new believers and share our walk of faith with them. It goes a long way to helping them with their own discipleship journey.
You too must be disciple by another mature Christian so you do not grow weary.
I found some good tips on Disciplers Manual
Here are a few lessons from the site I would like to share
Suggested guidelines for discipling another person.
o Arrange to meet together once each week for about 1½ hours or so. The time can vary depending on their spiritual hunger, assimilation of Biblical concepts, and maturity level.
o Plan on spending at least with a disciple, meeting regularly.
o The purpose of the meetings is to explain Biblical truth and principles, and to give the disciple opportunity questions, spiritual struggles, and related topics.
o It is important for you to be a thoughtful ; it’s the best way to identify gaps in their spiritual understanding.
o enough to allow the Holy Spirit to change the direction of the study or conversation, yet enough so the time is not squandered on less significant matters.
o Teach .
o The disciple should be encouraged to look to the Lord to apply Biblical principles to his life.
o A goal is for the disciple to increasingly understand and be able to clearly explain those Biblical principles to others.