One of these days I’m going to sit down and make three lists. One will be a list of all those things I have done that have been right and good. Another will be a list of all those things I have done that have been so unreasonable, foolish, and wrong. The third list will be a list of all those things I have done that it’s to early to determine if they’ve been right and good or unreasonable, foolish, and wrong.
I’ll probably use a postage sized sheet of paper for the list of all those things I have done that have been right and good. I’ll have to purchase two or three cases of paper to list all those things I have done that have been unreasonable, foolish, and wrong. The third list will probably be about as long as the second list.
Now, I realize that such statements might be readily acceptable from a reprobate and immoral person. It is expected that people like that have done unreasonable, foolish, and wrong things.
But, ye ol’ muser is a preacher! I profess to be a Christian! I go to church, read the Bible, and pray!
In the eyes of a lot of people; I’m not supposed to do unreasonable, foolish, and wrong.
Well, guess what?
I do!
Let me tell you about something I have been wrong about.
It all has to do with the word “disciple.”
You’ve heard the word thousands of times if you’ve attended church on a regular basis.
It’s a good word. It’s a word we all need to know and understand.
And, for a long time, I thought I did.
Oh, how unreasonable, foolish, and wrong I have been!
I should have known better but I’m kinda hard headed, stubborn, and thick headed! (As if I needed to tell you!)
So, what do you know about the word “disciple”?
First of all Jesus referred to those who followed Him as by using the word “disciple” more than any other word.
The best example we have of this truth is the way He often referred to twelve men who followed Him. We know these twelve men as the twelve disciples. We also know that the word “disciple” is not a word that is only used to describe these twelve men. Yes, they were “disciples” but He told those “disciples” to “…go and make disciples of all nations…”
Three questions: “What is a “disciple” of Christ?” “Are you a “disciple” of Christ? If so, how did you become a “disciple” of Christ?
Now, here’s where I “missed the boat” for many years.
I always knew that a “disciple” was a student or a learner. Actually the word “disciple” has a lot to do with learning and studying.
So, I mistakenly thought for a long time that being a “disciple” of Christ meant that you read your Bible, went to Sunday School, paid attention to the preacher’s sermons, read books on becoming a “disciple” and even went to seminary or Bible college to study the Bible.
Is that the way the twelve “disciples” became “disciples”?
Why no!
Think about this: When Jesus started calling us “disciples” there was no such thing as a “church” or Sunday School! There were no books by “hot shot” preachers telling you how to become a “disciple.” There were no seminaries or Bible colleges to attend.
If you wanted to be a shepherd, you signed on as an apprentice and learned from a chief shepherd. By learning from him, you eventually became a shepherd. If you wanted to become a lawyer, you studied under an experienced lawyer. You worked for him and with him and listened to every word he said. You became his disciple and you learned from him.
“So it isn’t unusual that the men who followed Christ were called His disciples. The first disciples were students and Jesus was their Teacher. For three and a half years they followed up and down Galilee, watching, listening, observing, asking questions, drinking in everything their Master did and said.
“Jesus had a three-fold plan for training His disciples: First, learning by watching. Second, learning by doing. Third, learning by teaching others.”
Folks, that’s the plan Jesus used in making “disciples” and that plan is just as effective today as it was 2,000 years ago!
The sad truth is that today’s church has gained a lot of knowledge about the Bible. We’ve read it, attended Sunday School where the Bible is supposed to be taught, listened to the preacher’s sermons, hired a Doctor of Divinity, and bought and read every book written about becoming a “disciple”!
We seem to have forgotten the Biblical process of “making disciples.”
Here it is again: Jesus made “disciples” out of a small group of men who followed Him up and down Galilee, watching, listening, observing, asking questions, drinking in everything their Master did and said. And then, after becoming “disciples” Jesus told them they were to “Go and make disciples of all nations.”
He was telling them, “I made you My disciples. I taught you everything you need to know, now go and make other disciples; teach them everything I taught you. Let them learn by watching you. Let them learn by doing what you do. Teach them what I’ve taught you.
Folks, becoming a “disciple” requires more than attending a class or reading a book.
Becoming a “disciple” is allowing a “disciple” to be a part of your life and allow that person to “make” a disciple out of you! Watch them. Do what they do. Listen to what they teach you.
“The entire history of the Christian church for 2,000 years has been nothing more than that: Going and making disciples and teaching them what Jesus has taught us.”
Oh, how we need an army of “disciple makers” today!
We’ve got an abundance of preachers, classes, books, church goers and pew warmers.
Oh, how we need an army of “disciple makers” today!
If you are a “disciple” of Christ get out there and “make” another one or two!
-Harlan