Saturday, April 26, 2008


I've been doing a study on discipleship. In the Great Commission Jesus tells the disciples to go and make disciples. It seems like most people want to assume that's about evangelization---producing converts. But a convert and a disciple are not the same. A disciple is a follower and not all converts are followers.

My study of discipleship reaffirmed that discipleship is not an easy walk. Jesus promised that disciples would be persecuted. He said a disciple was not above his master. In Matthew 10 Jesus talks about discipleship. He says that following him may mean being set apart from family and friends. He says no one who cares more for family and friends than he/she does Jesus cannot be a disciple.

Jesus also talks about "cross bearing." The first century believers understood what Jesus was saying. Following Jesus would result in persecution and could result in death. Unless one is willing to face persecution and even death they cannot be a disciple. It's a difficult chapter to accept.

I began to ask the hard questions. Would I be willing to give up my possessions? I found the answer was not what I would like it to be. I could easily give up some things, but others would be hard. Could I give up my job? Could I give up my parents, spouse, children, and grandchildren? Would I be willing to face persecution and even death? In other countries these kinds of things happen, but not in the United States. Still, I wonder?

I began to examine my past. I'm probably more than halfway through my earthly lifespan. There have been times I haven't forsaken all to follow Jesus. There have been times I would have gladly forsaken all to follow Jesus. I know this: I want to follow Jesus as a committed disciple, willing to follow Him wherever He leads.

In Mark 10:28 Peter said, "Behold, we have left everything and followed You." I want that to be my attitude. And, when called upon, I want it to be demonstrated in my action.

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