It’s an important question. Maybe the most important one you’ll ever ask yourself. Are you a disciple of Jesus? We determined earlier this week that one characteristic of a disciple is that he or she is a learner. Disciples are hungry to learn everything they can from their masters. Disciples of Jesus sit at his feet, hungry to learn all they can from him.
Disciples are also followers. Have you noticed how many things you can follow these days? You might be following this blog, or your friends’ pictures on Instagram or craft projects on Pinterest. You can follow a reality TV show or a string of mystery novels or a series of movies on Netflix. There are a lot of things to follow out there.
Disciples of Jesus follow Jesus. Disciples of Jesus sit under Jesus’ teaching, but they also place themselves under Jesus’ authority. As Christian disciples, we commit to not only learning about Jesus and what he taught, but also obeying that teaching. We no longer live our lives according to our own preferences, but instead follow and obey our one Master, Jesus Christ.
But before you click the “follow” button as a disciple, you must realize that it’s a lot harder than following friends online. Following Jesus involves things like sacrifice and dirty feet and crosses. It’s not easy. That’s why we’re dependent followers. We depend on the Holy Spirit’s enabling to take the first step… and the next… and the next.
Being a disciple involves commitment, no doubt about it. We commit ourselves to following Jesus, but that commitment is really a response. We can only commit ourselves to Christ because He committed Himself to us first. He committed himself to you on the cross by taking the punishment for your sin and dying in your place. He made a way for you to be reconciled to God and have a relationship with him, something you could never have accomplished on your own. And through this relationship you will have eternal life with him; death does not have the final word. This is good news, isn’t it? This is the glorious truth, the gospel, to which disciples respond. Out of gratefulness to Jesus and the gospel, we depend on the Holy Spirit and commit ourselves to following Jesus wherever He leads.
And as we follow Him, something amazing happens. We are actually made to be more like Him. We become conformed to the image of Jesus Christ (Romans 8:29). We become like the One we follow.
Who are you following?