Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit Matthew 28:19
The past few months I’ve talked about discipleship and the lack of it in our fellowships. When Y’shua spoke of discipleship what was he trying to get us to understand? First of all we should note, He didn’t tell us to become disciples. Notice He commanded us to go and make disciples. That is a huge difference and infers since we are in covenant with the Creator of the Universe; it’s our duty to fulfill His mandate. The other thing to take away from that passage is to do it in ALL nations.
What are some of the important things entailed in discipling? First and foremost we must correctly teach and demonstrate the gospel of Y’shua. That may sound very cliche, but it is the truth. The modern ‘gospel’ message has become very common and watered down thus losing its power and effectiveness.
An effective disciple maker will train others to eat, sleep, and breathe the gospel of Y’shua the Messiah. He or she will hear and see everyday situations of struggling people through the filter of the gospel and apply the truths of Y’shua and His life giving power accordingly. When a disciple has a good command of the gospel, he or she can use the gospel truth of Y’shua the Messiah as a tool to bring about real transformation in hurting people. Paul calls this becoming all things to all men in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23.
For though I am free from all men, I have made myself a slave to all, so that I may win more. To the Jews I became as a Jew, so that I might win Jews; to those who are under the Law, as under the Law though not being myself under the Law, so that I might win those who are under the Law; to those who are without law, as without law, though not being without the law of God but under the law of Christ, so that I might win those who are without law. To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak; I have become all things to all men, so that I may by all means save some. I do all things for the sake of the gospel, so that I may become a fellow partaker of it.
Another important aspect of discipling is the area of teaching. When I refer to teaching, I’m not necessarily talking about a one man show up in front of everyone explaining a verse or two from the Scripture. I’m referring to function more than form. In Scripture a teacher was someone who played more of the role of a father. When we are making disciples, it is imperative to share, show, and teach. This is exactly what Y’shua did. His disciples walked with Him listening to everything He shared. They didn’t just pay attention to what He shared at each conference He spoke at. They paid attention to what He showed them so they could go out and teach it.
When you read the Newer Testament, teaching was a lot more than just expounding on or explaining a passage of Scripture. The Hebrew word for teaching is lamad and means to
direct or learn by showing the direction. Yes there was the aspect of sharing knowledge when Y’shua taught, but His method of teaching went deeper than getting up in front of people in His living room, congregation, or conference sharing a revelation or the latest information of the day. It entailed an impartation of skills.
Why an impartation of skills? Y’shua expected those He taught to go share, show, and teach others to do the same exact thing He shared, showed, and taught them. This is a genuine mark of a true disciple. One who reproduces and imparts exactly what his teacher shared, showed, and taught. This in my opinion is what we are missing today. This in my opinion is why there is so much disfunction and chaos in movements and churchianity. I don’t think that I have all the answers but I know the One who does. I’m confident that if we will return a.k.a. repent and make a change in our direction and change our way of doing things, He will bring order to the chaos. He will bring function to our disfunction.
One mark of a genuine disciple is that he or she abandons their desire for glory. Are we there yet? Am I there? Y’shua said some harsh things when it came to this mark.
Any of you who does not renounce all that he has, cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:33
Another mark of a genuine disciple is someone who lives his or her life fully dependent on the grace of YHVH. When I say grace I’m not referring to greasy grace. I’m not referring to our Western understanding of the word. I’m referring to what grace meant in the first century Newer Testament body of believers. Grace was understood to be a gift that induced a reciprocal, patron-client type of relationship. In other words, I, the client, depend on YHVH, the patron, for something that I can’t get and don’t have. He gifts me that something, now my responsibility is to take that gift and in every aspect of my life use it to bring glory, honor, and recognition to His name testifying of who He is and what He has done. Grace is about action and multiplication. Discipleship is the same by taking the mandate Y’shua left us and reproducing Him in the lives of others. Blessings.