Pastor's Blog

Thoughts regarding the life of discipleship

Pastor Mathews.png

Pastor Mathews is contributing these blog posts to share his thoughts with the people of Hope Church. Check back monthly to see what he has to share. 

Follower? Believer? Or Disciple?

The people that associated with Jesus can be called:

     A.  Followers

     B.  Believers

     C.  Disciples

     D.  All of the above

The answer is D - All of the above - because each descriptive phrase is describing a different person, or at best, a different level of commitment in regards to the connection people have, want, and/or desire with Jesus - the 2nd person of the Trinity who, while he walked this earth was both God and man at the same time.

Jesus had many followers during his ministry.  That is, many people came out of curiosity to check him out.  Word was spreading far and wide about the rabbi who was performing miracles and challenging the "establishment" with his teachings.  Time after time, when you read the Gospel accounts, you encounter crowds gathering in order to hear him preach, but especially to see his miracles.

Jesus also had people following him who were more than curious about who he was.  They heard and saw many of the things he was preaching and doing and some of these people believed what Jesus was saying about himself - that he was the Messiah.  I believe the sick woman mentioned in Luke 8:40-48 falls in this category.  She believed who Jesus was and therefore she would be healed if only she could touch his garment.  And Jesus confirmed that when he said this to her - "Daughter, your faith has healed you.  Go in peace."

And then finally we have the third category, the disciples.  A disciple is someone who wants to imitate their teacher.  They want to be able to speak like their teacher speaks.  They want to be able to do what their teacher does.  What sets a disciple apart from a believer is their action.  A believer has head knowledge and trust.  But the disciple takes that head knowledge and trust and puts it into action by helping others and sharing God's love with others.

And Jesus had more than 12 disciples.  The 12, whom we often refer to as "the disciples", were really apostles.  Luke 6:12-13 says - "One of those days Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.  When morning came, he called his disciples to him and chose twelve of them, whom he also designated apostles.

Which brings me to this question for you to consider.  How do you classify your connection with Jesus?  Is it as a follower, believer or disciple?  Another question to consider is at what level does God want us to be at in our connection with his Son?  To answer that question, go to Matthew 28:19-20 which says - "Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.

The best people to go and make disciples are disciples.  What needs to happen in your spiritual life for you to move from follower to believer, or from believer to disciple?  What do you need to do so you can be a disciple who makes other disciples?