We understand club membership, we understand joining, we can comprehend following someone on twitter but have we lost the understanding of discipleship?
“As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen.” Matthew 4:18
It was just a normal day at work and then it happened. Jesus, the traveling rabbi walked by and saw these guys working in the boat. Was it the way they cast the net? Was it their work ethic, was it something revealed to Jesus in prayer the night before. How did he choose them? They didn’t join anything…..
Let that float there for a moment.
They were called, left their job and followed his call. It would have been easier to follow this call before they had that job, right? This is the way it always is. Discipleship is a call not a job. What is your call? What are the marks of a disciple? How do I know what to do?
It begins with the relationship formed by a call. Next week I’m going to take us through an approach to discipleship. We need more disciples and fewer followers. Very often we look at numbers and gauge our success on the world’s economy of counting. We do it all the time; money, cars, friends, homes, and degrees – the list goes on. True discipleship is found in a unique set of gifts that are offered to everyone but not everyone accepts their call. Like the young man who came to Jesus one day:
“Another day, a man stopped Jesus and asked, ‘Teacher, what good thing must I do to get eternal life?’
Jesus said, ‘Why do you question me about what’s good? God is the One who is good. If you want to enter the life of God, just do what he tells you.’
The man asked, ‘What in particular?’
Jesus said, ‘Don’t murder, don’t commit adultery, don’t steal, don’t lie, honor your father and mother, and love your neighbor as you do yourself.’
The young man said, ‘I’ve done all that. What’s left?’
‘If you want to give it all you’ve got,’ Jesus replied, ‘go sell your possessions; give everything to the poor. All your wealth will then be in heaven. Then come follow me.’
That was the last thing the young man expected to hear. And so, crestfallen, he walked away. He was holding on tight to a lot of things, and he couldn’t bear to let go.” Matthew 19:16-22
This young potential disciple was concerned with counting. He counted the commandments, he counted his money, and he was also counting on Jesus to compliment his goodness. Jesus called him to think different – to give up what had become his god and go down a new path. Maybe you’ve been called to be a disciple but ignored it, denied it, or are just apathetic about the call. Let’s explore next week what opens us up to BE disciples and not just be members of a church or fans of the Nazarene carpenter.