We’re asking ourselves if we are disciples of Jesus. We’re looking at a thoughtful definition of what a disciple of Jesus is, and then comparing that definition to our lives. We’ve seen so far that disciples are learners, eager to sit at Jesus’ feet and learn all they can from him. We’ve also seen that disciples are followers, which means that after we sit at Jesus’ feet, we get up and follow him out the door, wherever he goes.
The last part of the definition is what we’re looking at today. In addition to being learners and followers, disciples of Jesus are worshipers.
We tend to think of “worship” as a religious word, but, in truth, we’re all worshiping something. To worship something just means that we give that something a great deal of respect, admiration, attention, and honor. If we think of our lives as concentric circles, it’s whatever is at the center of those circles. Simply put, we worship what is most important to us.
There are a lot of options here. It’s worth asking ourselves and each other, “What is most important to you? What can you not live without?” These are clues to what we worship. There have been times in my life when I could have answered those questions with answers like, “other people’s admiration” or “lots of friends” or “family peace.” Most often, though, I could truthfully, and unfortunately, answer that question with simply, “myself.” I am at the center of my circles. I care most about… me.
These objects of worship are unacceptable for disciples of Jesus. Disciples of Jesus worship Jesus. He is what we can’t live without. Because Jesus is God, he deserves our complete allegiance. We do not worship him as one of many gods in our lives, but as the one, true God who alone is worthy of our worship. Being a disciple means doing away with any idol which competes with our allegiance to Jesus.
We have to keep reminding ourselves, though, that disciples are dependent. We strive to learn from, follow, and worship Jesus, all the while remembering that we are dependent on the Holy Spirit’s enabling to do so. We are disciples, but we are also imperfect sinners who struggle to live like disciples. We have to wake up every morning and, with the Holy Spirit’s help, throw down competing idols. We completely depend on the Holy Spirit to make us into complete disciples of Christ.
Disciples not only learn from Jesus as their teacher and follow him as their master, disciples worship Jesus as their Lord. Working with this definition of a disciple, it is clear that being a disciple means more than believing that Jesus is real. It means believing that Jesus is God and relating to Him accordingly. We place ourselves under Him as our teacher, master and Lord. Being a disciple means submitting to Jesus and giving Him our complete allegiance, renouncing all competitors.
Who are you worshiping?