The title is there because I’m not sure how you’re supposed to write a post about discipleship. What is discipleship? The word isn’t used in the Bible- or at least it’s not when I search for it in my Bible app. But I do know it’s important because Jesus had disciples! And if we are calling ourselves “followers of Jesus,” I suppose we should too, right?
There is no explicit definition in the Bible, but from seeing how Jesus lived his life on earth, I think his hope for his disciples was for them to love the Lord with all their heart and with all their soul and with all their might. Jesus says that this is the first and greatest commandment. He wanted these words to be on the hearts of his disciples and to be their thoughts when they sat and walked and lied down and rose.
A common response- or at least my common response to that was how am I supposed to help people love God, especially when it’s hard for me. And if I had spent time asking Jesus about it, he probably would have told me to relax. Because he tells us that, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.”
We have faith in a God, who is always faithful. He is the one drawing people to him. He is the one opening hearts to see him. At this moment, I trust that he is drawing us to him. I trust that by his grace, he is pursuing us for all our heart, all our soul, and all our might.
He is relentlessly pursuing us, but that doesn’t mean he forces us to do anything. As a good Father, he gives us a choice whether to obey him or not. Jesus says that, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” Loving him leads us to obey him, and obeying him leads us to love him. He wants us to obey him because he wants us to love him.
So when Jesus commanded his disciples to “go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that he commands,” his disciples probably weren’t surprise because they had seen all along how Jesus loved the Father. In his love, Jesus was obedient to the Father in all that he did. He was obedient even to the point of death on the cross.
I think this is what discipleship is- to love our Father with our whole being, to think about loving our Father with our whole being, and to teach others to do the same- all the while knowing that our Father is drawing and teaching people. Discipleship is not knowledge-based; it’s obedience-based as Jesus draws us.
Everyday, every moment, Jesus is “disciple-ing” you. He is teaching you things about himself, yourself, others, and the world. The more you get to know him, the more you’ll realize that loving him doesn’t just involve your emotions. It’s not easy, and it may not seem enjoyable at times. But Jesus is worth it.
Let’s embrace him and pursue him. Let’s run hard to love him and run hard to teach others to love him.
And when it gets hard, “be still and know that he is God. He will be exalted in the nations; he will be exalted in the earth.”