Jesus invites us to be disciples
A disciple is someone who chooses to willingly follow the teaching and example of someone. In this case, Jesus.
“Follow Me, . . . and I will make you fishers of men.” – Matthew 4:19
1. FOLLOW: “Follow Me”
A disciple is some who follows Jesus as Lord. This means I must place myself under His authority and direction. Simply believing in Jesus will make you a Christian, but it won’t necessarily make you a disciple. Salvation comes solely from action on the part of Jesus (the work He finished on the cross). Discipleship comes from action on my part to grow closer to Him.
2. CHANGED: “I will make you”
A disciple allows Jesus to mold and change them. These changes occur through Bible study, prayer, the counsel of other believers, and life experiences with the end result being that we are remade in the image of Christ.
“Those God foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brothers.” – Romans 8:29
In order to be changed into a disciple, I must have the right focus. The right focus is Jesus – not religion or denomination or personal opinion. I need to view everything in the Bible through Jesus’ eyes. I must study and know what He said before I can accurately apply the rest of scripture to my life. Judgmentalism, legalism, and self-righteousness creep in when I lose sight of Jesus as I study the Bible.
If something I believe or the way I behave is contrary to Christ’s example, then I need to re-evaluate those beliefs and behaviors. (Tangent/soapbox: Jesus is God. He’s the only person who has EVER had a right to be judgmental and self-righteous toward the lost. But He wasn’t. Who am I to think it’s okay?)
3. MISSION: “fishers of men”
A disciple tells others about Jesus, not just through words, but through actions as well. In Luke 5:1-11, Jesus called His first disciples by using real life examples and a language the fishermen could understand. I need to be aware of how I speak to others when sharing Jesus. “Christian-ese” and “church-speak” do not reach the lost. (Tangent/soapbox: Neither does old English from 400 years ago.) I must use words and phrases lost people can relate to. Be real. Meet people where they are. Know Bible verses in modern translations. Using language people can’t understand only makes it hard for them to hear the Gospel.