Follow me. Matthew 4:19
How does Jesus relate to a disciple? If I am a believer, this question is relevant to me because I am His disciple. How does Jesus think of me in relation to Himself? What can I expect in this sacred relationship? From theological truths about His character to real life interactions in the Gospels, Jesus ~
- Calls me to something for which I’m unqualified. Four fishermen became evangelists and teachers. One was a tax collector. The calling is always God-sized because no skill set can achieve supernatural results.
- Builds the relationship on love and promises of faithfulness. My relationship with Him began with forgiveness, love and acceptance, followed by promises that won’t ever be broken. This love has turned into fuel for my calling and His promises give me boldness.
- Centers the teaching on faith-growing and character development. Each life lesson at the feet of Jesus grows my faith and makes me more like Him. When I’ve mastered one skill, there are always bigger ones to come. The faith tests get more difficult but infinitely more rewarding.
- Requires of me a good faith effort, not perfection. As Kevin DeYoung reminded an audience recently, Jesus is aware of my present maturation level and is pleased with my best at whatever stage I am in my journey. He is my encourager, no longer my judge.
- Extends mercy before I sin. Jesus told Peter that he would deny him three times. When Peter was visibly shaken, Jesus told him not to be worried and upset but to believe God. There was mercy before the sin. He didn’t tell Peter the specifics of how he would deny him nor did He didn’t show him how to avoid it. I am forgiven in the past, in the present, and in the future. I’m justified and there is abundant mercy.
- Forgives without reservation. Jesus forgives no matter how many times I say I’m sorry. I will have times of failure in the relationship. That’s inevitable. But not one sin or mistake will qualify as ‘unforgiveable’.
- Allows testing to reveal our flaws. Jesus was tested in the wilderness. His disciples are tested, too. It develops in me endurance, discernment, and it equips me with strategy in my use of the scriptures.
- Is always out front ~ showing me the way home. I’m in the yoke with Jesus. He’s right there, a little in front, bearing the weight and responsibility for my needs. I am assured that the path we travel together leads me safely home.
Though the way is treacherous, I am never disconnected from You. Just as you lived in unity with Your Father, you offer me the same connection. Disciple me – all the way home. Amen