The Attitude of a Disciple
The last few weeks we’ve looked at the calling and discipling of Peter, John, and Paul. These three men were specifically called and chosen by Jesus Himself. They were given instructions, authority, and assignments to complete (see Matt. 10). I believe there is a divine reason why they are prime examples for us to follow.
Take Peter, when Jesus called him he was fishing and catching nothing. Jesus performed the miracle of an exponential amount of fish in his net and what was Peter’s response? “Depart from me Lord, for I am a sinful man.” There it is, the first attitude of a disciple of Christ: humility. This word may conjure up all kinds of pictures in your mind but the essence of humility is a lack of self-centeredness. As we progress in our discipleship, with humility at the forefront, the will of God, not our will, becomes front and center.
Discipleship takes sacrifice as Peter, John, and Paul knew, but it was worth it to them. When John completed writing the Book of Revelation do you know what he did? He fell down and worshipped (Rev. 22:8)! John knew he was chosen to experience this divine calling to write about the end-times and he was humbled. John was also Jesus’ best friend. Now you may think that he was boastful about that but I see a man who followed Christ first, accompanied Peter in his ministry (Acts 1-8, notice he is always mentioned second), and is satisfied with that assignment. When he penned his letter we call First John, he constantly pointed to the Father and His Son. He didn’t take credit for his ministry; the glory went to God. We saw Paul in his humility last week: persecuted believers, no one trusted him, and he identified himself a slave of Jesus Christ.
What are the qualifications Jesus gives for discipleship?
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must turn from your selfish ways, take up your cross, and follow me. If you try to hang on to your life, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake, you will save it. (Matthew 16:24, 25 NLT)
Ouch. Turn from your selfish ways? Take up your own, individual cross? Follow me? These seem to be hard terms in this new way of life but thank God He has given us the Holy Spirit to empower us, equip us, and guide us through this assignment. All of our crosses (things that need to die in our lives) will look different. Some may need to die to fear of rejection, maybe fear of ridicule and mockery, possibly the feeling of not being included and accepted for following Him. I encourage you to die to the things that keep you from following Christ with your whole heart. It will take some sacrifice and courage but it is worth it!