Lessons of a disciple



 

 

Lk.6:12-13, ‘Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 13 And when it was day, He called His disciples to Himself; and from them He chose twelve whom He also named apostles:….’  

It was not easy for the Lord to choose His disciples. He spent a night in prayers before doing so. Many people followed Jesus to see the various miracles and even to experience them. A multitude, which cannot be numbered was with Him most of the days of during the 3 years of His ministry on earth. Yet, He chose only a handful i.e., 12 to be His disciples, and that too after much prayers. A disciple represents a disciplined life, but mere discipline does not suffice. The Lord, being the best ‘Rabi’ gave them good training and equipped them to be His ambassadors. We see the various chapters the disciples were taught throughout the four gospels. But we see certain most important lessons on  discipleship in Luke 9. Let us learn from the same.

  1. 9:1,Then He called His twelve disciples together and gave them power and authority over all demons, and to cure diseases.’ The Lord gave them authority and sent them to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. Preaching and healing goes hand in hand. When we preach the word of God, healing and restoration of hearts and bodies follows. Hearing the word of God enables one to receive Christ and His Spirit, which redeems one from the bondage of sin and sickness. A ministry without preaching of His Word is not a ministry. The various ministries placed in the body of Christ basically aims to spread His Word through various talents. And as His Word spreads, His power too spreads to manifest and confirm His Word for His glory. The Lord gave the disciples the power and authority, but not to the multitude. The disciples are trained to handle the divine authority in the right way.
  1. 10:20,Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but[f]rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” All the 12 disciples went and preached His Word and came and told Him all that they did. Later, Jesus appointed and sent seventy more disciples to preach and to heal. They rejoiced over the fact that the devils were subject to them through His name (Lk. 10: 17). But the Lord asked them to rejoice not in miracles, but in the fact that their names are written in heaven. The heart of a disciple rejoices in the truth of eternity more than the miracles. No miracle is greater than a life transforming from a sinner to a God’s child. Multitude rejoices in miracles while disciples rejoices in transformation of lives.
  1. 9:13-14, ‘But He said to them, “You give them something to eat.” And they said, “We have no more than five loaves and two fish, unless we go and buy food for all these people.” 14 For there were about five thousand men. Jn.6:6, ‘But this He said to test him, for He Himself knew what He would do.’ Jesus tested His disciples to see their faith. He never tested the multitude. Faith disciplines our dependency. The disciples depended on the availability of resources to feed the 5000 men and He shifted their dependency to heaven. Our complete dependency in all situations upon the Lord is the strength of our faith, which  makes us His disciples. The various trials and tests that comes in our lives aim at disciplining our dependency on God. 
  1. 9:23, ‘Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross[b]daily, and follow Me.’ This is the foundation principle of a disciple. The attitude to deny self on a daily basis alone can enable us to carry our cross. Discipleship is all about carrying our cross. The cross, where ‘I’, ‘my will’ is crucified enables for His will to happen in our lives, His will for us to inherit His kingdom. In other words, a disciple is able to rightly identify ‘I’ and ‘my will’ as the greatest hindrance to inherit His kingdom.
  1. 9:29, ‘As He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and His robe became white and glistening.’ Christ revealed His glory to Peter, James and John, who later did mention of the same in their writings. His glory is revealed to His disciples in some form or another, which keeps one going even in the most dark times, when everything else seems to challenge the faith life. Such glorious moments gets inscribed deep in our hearts and thoughts. Thanking God for His mercy. Had it not been for such times, many might have fallen away from grace easily.
  1. 9:41, ‘Then Jesus answered and said, “O[f]faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you and [g]bear with you? Bring your son here.”  Mt.17:21, ‘ [f]However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” The Lord gave the disciples power and authority over the devils. They did perform many miracles and were happy that the devils were subject to them through His name. Yet they could not deliver this boy. No disciple is greater than one’s teacher. Faith is such that there is always room to grow towards it’s fullness. God allows certain failures to make us realize that we need to grow to the next level of faith so that God is able to do deeper and stronger works for His kingdom. When Jesus said that such kind does not go out except through prayer and fasting, He pointed out to a deeper purification that alone makes us grow in faith. A disciple cannot be stagnant in faith life. Time and again, we need to pause & purify ourselves which alone pushes us ahead in the track.

 

  1. Lastly, before this chapter ends, the Lord highlights on certain challenges of discipleship.

Lk.9:46,”Then a dispute arose among them as to which of them would be greatest. ‘  Such disputes tear up the body of Christ, if not nipped in the bud. The Lord pointed out to a child and spoke to aim at being the least to be of a great heart. Let us humble ourselves by considering others better than ourselves.

Lk.9:55-56, ‘But He turned and rebuked them, [k]and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 [l]For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” And they went to another village.’ No response to the gospel need to be taken personally. We are representing Christ and hence supposed to love, forgive and pray for those who reject Him who sent us.

Lk.9:58, ‘And Jesus said to him, “Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head.”’ The yearning for comfort zone can push us off the faith track. Let’s set our mind to run and not rest till we reach our eternal abode. Lk.9:60, ‘ Jesus said to him, “Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God.” The priority for God’s work over all other responsibilities is the only way to express our first love for Him. Love for Him on priority basis is the only driving force behind discipleship. Lk.9:62, ‘But Jesus said to him, “No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”’ Let’s be aware of the tendency of flesh to go back to what we left to follow Christ, and resist firmly.

Its easy to be a multitude but the way of discipleship is always narrow and tough. Its an ongoing continuous process, which makes us more and more like Him. Let us learn from the lessons, for it concerns our eternity.

God bless us all

(http://thebrokenbread.wordpress.com/)

 

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