After Christ had returned from His 40 days of fasting (Matthew 4:1-2), He chose His first four disciples. God planned for His Son’s ministry to be short, and Christ needed to teach others the mysteries of God’s kingdom (Colossians 1:26-27). These four men became the essence of real discipleship.
It’s not by accident Christ approached these men. Since Christ is God (John 10:30), we see God’s Spirit working because those men without delay followed Jesus. They didn’t question who Jesus is and did as He asked. This illustrates God’s undeniable presence in a faithful believer’s life.
The first two men anointed to discipleship are Peter and his brother Andrew (Matthew 4:18). They were fishermen casting their nets from the shore. Christ told them He will make them fisher of men (Matthew 4:19). Here Jesus gives us the essence of discipleship-fishers of men. In fact, Christ appointed Peter as the leader of His church.
The next two who Christ called on is James and John (Matthew 4:21-22). Again Matthew highlights the impact God made in their lives. Those two men showed an unshakable trust in Christ because upon hearing God’s command they picked up their cross and walked with Christ.
When we take an honest look at the way, those men responded to Christ; we gain knowledge into true discipleship. The first thing to remember is their unselfish commitment to God. Their faith shows us a disciple denies oneself for the will of God. It takes selflessness to live as a disciple. Likewise, for us to become disciples, we must do the same.
Jesus recruited eight more disciples. One of those twelve betrayed Him (Judas Iscariot) in the garden of Gethsemane. Many others entered discipleship because God planned for anyone who believes in Christ sovereignty (John 8:31-32). Today others are still being granted this same privilege.
The essence of discipleship is applying Christ’s teachings to our everyday lives. It’s easy speaking the Gospels. But a more challenging presentation of God’s Spirit is exemplifying the impact Christ has in the way we respond to adversity.
For example, our reactions to life terms need to radiate the way Christ dealt with His troubles. Even though our problems don’t match the ones Jesus endured, He shows us the spiritual principles necessary in staying firm on God’s word. It’s our reliance on Christ that we find courage beyond ours to face the world full of evilness.
One of the first things to remember is discipleship radiates God’s Living Spirit. This doesn’t mean a disciple is perfect. Everyone falls short of living in God’s will (Romans 3:23), and no one is free from sin (1 John 1:1-10). With this in mind, we must remember it’s our willingness to repent and let Christ remove our trespasses. Nothing pleases God more than a believer’s action of repentance.
A disciple is a spiritual craftsman working for Christ’s Deity spreading God’s truth. And for this purpose, the Holy Spirit is the driving force behind discipleship. Without God’s Spirit present in the life of a disciple, the message of Christ’s Kingship is ineffective. This includes taking a self-righteous approach in sharing Jesus’s truths.
Discipleship is of divine importance because our spiritual lives depend on our willingness to live in Christ. This significant God-granted experience is not without responsibility. We must pick up our cross (regardless of its pain) and become His servants. Remember we no longer living in the world but God’s kingdom!
Have you found your discipleship?