Bible Reading: Matthew 28:16-20; Acts 11:19-26
I remember when my wife and I had our first child, and then one day while taking a little walk with our two-or-so month old daughter, some overzealous street uncle walking towards us does that thing of tapping the baby’s checks and says ‘fine boy, how are you?’
Typical Nigerian parents then would usually then go ‘she said she’s fine, thank you’.
There were two reasons why he didn’t get any such response from us though: first, we didn’t share that particular character trait with typical Nigerian parents- we have always felt strongly that if you want to address us, you should face us squarely and do that rather than facing our kids to initiate conversations with us (that includes teachers in school giving children homework that is so bulky and difficult).
The second reason though was that my wife found it very annoying that he would ignorantly call a girl ‘fine boy’- she felt that he could at least go by the fact that the baby had earrings on.
That notwithstanding, there are other things that our baby could be called that wouldn’t have been wrong. While some things would be outrightly wrong, some might just not be the most accurate or appropriate term.
Think about that- he could have come along saying ‘Little future woman’ or ‘first child of your parents’, or ‘person with the smallest hands in the Moody’s house’, or ‘human being’. If he did, he probably isn’t wrong but there could probably have just been better ways to put it.
You see, when it comes to this thing of being a follower of Jesus, there can be many words and expressions that describe that life: ‘Christian’, ‘follower of Jesus’, ‘born again’ (or a ‘burn against’, based on your attitude and passion towards non christians and stuff), ‘the person who has high moral standards’, ‘Church person’, and so on.
But maybe one very underrated word is the word ‘disciple’. I think the word is largely underrated, especially in Christian circles. Disciples were not just the twelve guys who went everywhere with Jesus; Jesus sees everyone who has put their faith in him as a disciple.
Why is this so important? A disciple means someone who is committed to following and learning from another, fully embracing the trainings and disciplines therein. Jesus actually commanded his disciples to go into all the world and make disciples.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit… Matthew 28:19 NKJV
His command was not just to plant churches or to recruit church attendees. It was to make disciples.
To be a Christian must mean that we are committed to following and learning from Jesus, and fully embracing the disciplines and trainings that the journey brings.
The truth is that the greatest joy and delight in following Jesus comes when we understand ourselves to be disciples and live with that strong consciousness. Whether or not you are called ‘disciple’, we must never forget that we are called to be disciples.
And there is such great wisdom right there!
Talk about learning from the best- is there any greater privilege we can have than to say we are ‘disciples of Jesus’?
Being a disciple represents the wisdom of not trying to be wise enough- but living in accordance with the pattern of the One who is wise enough; of not trying to do it all well enough, but living as a follower of the One who has done it all well enough. It is not more struggling to be better- it is more surrender.
Our consciousness of following in the ways of Jesus is our greatest wisdom to live life with. As we propel ourselves stronger on that journey of being disciples, we are becoming more than we could ever be in ourselves.
Talk about learning from the best- is there any wiser thing we’ll ever do than give ourselves to be ‘disciples of Jesus’?
Something To Pray
Pray today for a heart that is more sold out to follow Jesus, and that rightly embraces the trainings and processes of that journey.
PS. We’ve got Online Day of Prayer today! It’s a great opportunity to love the people in your world and your church family enough to pray for them. All you need to do is get on our Social Media pages (Instagram or Facebook) and tag a friend and pray for them or pray for someone on the thread.