Bella Vista Church of Christ

LIFELINES

02/06/2019

Jeff Grisham

 

Disciples of the Master

 

  As followers of Jesus, we are well aware that we have been given a mission.  Most of us immediately think of the Great Commission when we think of the mission we have been given. However, sometimes we miss a crucial first step in this mission, and that is that we are first called to be disciples of Jesus. Disciple is often a word that we define as learner, but we are called to do much more than simply learn. We are called to be practitioners of the words of Jesus. At the end of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus makes this clear.

 

  “Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.  And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand.  And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it.” (Matthew 7:24-27 ESV)

 

  It seems clear that Jesus expects his followers to hear what he says and then to do it. There is nothing in this passage that suggests that Jesus expects us to fully understand what he says before doing it. He just expects us to do it and understanding will come.

 

  Often we spend time reading the words of Jesus, discussing them, dissecting them, and talking about all of the implications of those words. These are all really good things to do, but we miss the point of his words if we stop short of putting them into practice. We are called to be disciples, apprentices of Jesus so that we can carry on the mission that he started. He taught his disciples, explained things to them, and walked with them. But, he also sent them out on their own (Matthew 10, Luke 10) so they could put his teachings into practice. He was training them to function, to carry on the mission when he would no longer physically walk with them.

 

  We have been given a mission. We are to go and make disciples from all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). But we are going to struggle in carrying out that mission if we do not become disciples ourselves. We have to be willing to listen to the words of Jesus and step out in faithful obedience, even if (and maybe even especially if) we do not fully understand what the outcome may be.

 

  As we look at the life of Jesus and the mission that he started that we are to continue, we can see the mission to which we are called. We are to love and serve the people to whom we are sent, invite others to join us as we follow Jesus, and to carry the only message we have to carry, the good news of the Kingdom of God. May God bless us as we follow in the steps of our Master.

 

—JEFF GRISHAM