Disciples: Who are they? What do they do?
When Christ chose the individuals that he poured himself into, what kind of people did he choose? Were they wise, strong, or exceptionally competent men? Were they noted scholars and people of renown in their communities? Surprisingly, the answer is no!
The men Jesus would make into “fishers of men,” as He called them, were not exemplary citizens in their culture. They were not recognized as scholars or wise people, nor were they community leaders. In fact, people despised some of them like Matthew, the tax collector. Why should Jesus do this? Why would He pick people that might be ridiculed by their culture? As the Bible says, “man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart.” (1 Samuel 16:7) Being God, Jesus looked at the hearts of these men, and their hearts believed in Him. Jesus knows all of our hearts. He is not interested in our popularity, cultural appeal, or societal status. He is only interested in keeping those who will love Him with their whole heart, soul, mind and strength (Matthew 22:35-37). He is interested in molding those who are “sold out” for Him.
So what did these disciples have in common? Well, for one thing they believed that Jesus was the Messiah. They were, with few exceptions, convinced beyond a reasonable doubt that He was the way to God. They wanted what he had, and they wanted to be with Him. Now, this doesn’t mean that they didn’t believe wrong things as well, because they did…a lot! However, they were still on their spiritual journey and had a long way to go. Jesus would take them through three stages of development, the same stages that you and I go through to become mature believers. Those stages of belief, call and preparation to serve would take the disciples three years to complete, but when they finished, they had enough to lead the known World to knowledge of our Lord and Savior, and His blessed Gift of salvation. On top of that, they were able to teach, rebuke, correct, and train in righteousness (2Timothy 3:16-17), all those God placed under their tutelage. With the gift of the Holy Spirit (John 17-20), they were able to write the Word of God accurately and truthfully, so that believers today could have the same knowledge and preparation that they received. They were able to “do all things through Christ who strengthened them” (Philippians 4:13).
We as believers must respond. We must take up the mantle of responsibility in order for the Church to survive in today’s society. Look at the questions tomorrow, and ask yourself, do I need to be discipled? Am I prepared to be the minister Jesus has called all believers to be? What is God calling me to do? See you tomorrow!