#199 akoloutheo p.1525: to follow accompany to follow or be a disciple of a leader’s teaching or disciple

#3412 p.1568, mathetes n. disciple, student committed learner and follower of Jesus

Greek word noun pistis #4411, verb pisteuo #4409 – faith, faithfulness, belief, and trust with an implication that actions based on that trust must follow.

To me, belief in Jesus Christ, his life and death and resurrection, and his teachings is at the beginning of the life that God calls us to. If belief isn’t married to faith, and faith to discipleship, then we are stuck at the beginning of the journey. Belief and faith imply a trust in God and a total giving of one’s life to Christ; discipleship, then, is following His suggestions for our lives faithfully. If we are true to that commitment, that obedience, that love of God, then we will live lives deeply imbedded in that faith and trust, we will be His disciples. If we don’t, we’ll be living in this world, of this world, knocked around by the vicissitudes of life without a real rock to hold on to, without God to cling to when those moments come to us, as they inevitably will.

It is not enough to just believe in God and Christ and the Holy Spirit; we must trust them with our lives. We must await their inspiration for what we do and say. We must depend on them in every aspect of our lives—our work, our families and friends, our churches, and our leisure time. That means we are following Jesus, discipling with Him, allowing Him to lead us, to teach us, so that we can live out the fullness of who we were created to be and to serve the Lord in all that we do. Short of that goal we are living in this world, of this world.

Following/discipling take a long time to learn from and to become like the master. In Jesus’s time it was not unusual for rabbis to wander the countryside teaching and training disciples. The main goal of a disciple, a follower was to become like the master as much as possible, as well as to learn everything that He taught. In those times it was an oral tradition that was being followed by these itinerant teachers and their disciples.

It is still an oral tradition for us, even though we have all the books, references and such of a learned life. We have to listen to Christ in all that we read and do and in what happens to us; we have to acknowledge what Christ is saying to us in all of it and to follow His lead.  We have to focus on His teachings, both in the Bible and in our lives. We must follow the suggestions of His “still, small voice” in our minds, to obey Him, even when what He proposes is beyond our own self- image. We will experience what Paul did in shipwrecks and in jail and in people not believing Him—that Christ’s “‘grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I [Paul] will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.”[1]

The journey of each disciple is what Christ lays out before him or her. He lays out a path that will take us to the fulfillment of who God created us to be. It will reveal our purpose and how to execute it. Christ will accompany us every step of the way. The more we are aware of His presence in our lives, the sooner we will realize who we really are. And then we can truly relax and let Him carry all the burdens.[2]

[1] 2 Corinthians 12:9
[2] Matthew 11:28-30

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