This week we continue looking at the meaning of discipleship. We’ll use the Bible’s account of the original 12 disciples as a pattern to glean helpful ideals for our own discipleship.
Last week the emphasis was on the necessity of coming to Jesus as a basic qualification for discipleship. During His public ministry, the summons to come was repeatedly voiced.
With that as the beginning, this week our thoughts turn to the idea that we come to Jesus to follow after Him. The original Twelve found discipleship was not merely a quick trip to Jesus and then a return to their former way of life.
As it was for the Twelve, so it is for us. Their coming to Jesus was with a view to following Him the rest of their days.
Jesus invites people to come to Him in order to follow Him, not as a come and go invitation that leaves us to return to our former life, embracing its former values, pursuing our own interests or setting our own agendas.
For instance, take the two brothers Jesus saw casting their nets into the sea. He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men” (Mark 1:16–17). The choice to follow Christ is the doorway to a lifelong experience of becoming all God created us to be and to achieve.
In a similar manner, sometime later Jesus was walking in Capernaum. The record says, “As He passed by, He saw Levi the son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax office. And He said to him, ‘Follow Me.’ So, he arose and followed Him” (Mark 2:14–15). Thus another disciple embarked upon a lifetime commitment.
Bought with a price
Much later when Jesus had His full number of 12 disciples, the record tells us He went back to Nazareth, His own country. The account reads simply, “And His disciples followed Him” (Mark 6:1).
Throughout the remainder of His public ministry, Jesus was followed by the disciples. They came to Him in order to follow after Him. Like them, we who are Christians choose to come to Christ when He calls us. When we do, we embark on a lifetime of following Him with our lives.
From that time on, we are not our own; we have been bought with a price (1 Cor. 6:19–20).
A very practical and important question to ponder at the outset of a new year is, “Am I wholly and permanently committed to being a Christ-follower?”