In previous Teaching letters we have looked at the call of the LORD to us regarding going into the world and making Disciples. This doesn't mean that we all have to go out to other countries and be full time missionaries. Being a missionary starts right here at home. Our world starts at our front door.
We know that the LORD calls us to be DISCIPLE MAKERS, that is clearly seen in the great commission of Matthew 28:18-20, but before we even think of making other Disciples we first must ask ourselves a very important question, are we a Disciple of JESUS CHRIST, or are we a Christian? By definition from the Strongs Concordance being a Christian means:-- a follower of Christ.
Mat 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Mat 28:19 Go ye therefore, and TEACH all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Mat 28:20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (KJV)
In the KJV in Matthew 28:19 we see that the words "TEACH all Nations". In the Greek that word "Teach" in Matthew 28:19 is the same root word as we find in Luke 14:27, where it is used to refer to one who is the LORD's Disciple.
In Matthew 28:19 mathēteuō means:-- From G3101; to become a pupil; transitively to disciple, that is, enrol as scholar: - BE DISCIPLE, INSTRUCT, TEACH. Whereas in Luke 14:27 we see that word "Disciple" means:-- a learner, that is, a pupil: - DISCIPLE. All of these words have the same root meaning, it means:--:-- to learn (in any way): - TO LEARN, UNDERSTAND.
All of this might seem a bit over the top, but it is important that we understand there is a huge difference between being a Christian, and being a Disciple of JESUS. A Christian follows JESUS, whereas a Disciple IS TAUGHT BY JESUS. We all must follow JESUS, we all must be Christians, but to understand why we are following HIM we first must learn from HIM why we are to do that. HE has given us a complete training Manual for LIFE. It is called, "The Bible". In it, HE speaks to us as HIS written words come alive to us by the Power of the HOLY SPIRIT moving on those words.
Then those words are transformed from being "Logos" words to the Rhema words that bring life and freedom to those whom it touches. Both of these types of words are extremely precious, they both have life within them. But, the difference is that the Rhema word is the one that has been made alive and active by the Power of GOD upon it, whereas the Logos word only has the potential within it to BECOME alive and active.
In one of the Bible Colleges that I attended there was a great emphasis on the teaching of FAITH, within that teaching there was a Module called "The Force of Faith". It was written by Kenneth Copeland and it had a huge impact on me as that teaching reached out from the pages in front of me and became alive. This was the HOLY SPIRIT moving upon those written words and bringing them to life within my Spirit. As a result, even today, 30 years later, those words have impacted the way that I understand the forces that are released when we activate our Faith.
When we have a heart to want to learn from JESUS, then we will find that those words will become alive and active within us all.
" OUR LEVEL OF DESIRE FOR THE UNDERSTANDING OF GOD"
will dictate our level of
"ACTUALLY BEING ABLE TO UNDERSTAND HIM".
It was said earlier that we all need to follow JESUS, but when we understand the things of GOD then we are able to follow HIM more closely. We all need to be Christians, that is, followers of HIM who died then rose again for us. But as we learn more of HIM we are able to understand more of why. Why HE died, why HE chose to give us all that second chance that we so desperately needed, and why HE has such wonderful Blessings stored up in Heaven waiting for us.
Being a Disciple of JESUS is being someone who has been taught about JESUS and by JESUS. So let us look at the Disciples who walked this planet right by HIS side, and how HE taught them.
Mark 4:35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. Mark 4:36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships.
Mar 4:37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. Mark 4:38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? Mark 4:39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Another rendition of this event can be found in Luke 8:23-25. But for now let us look at another one of the Gospels where it talks also about calming the storms. Mat 14:22 And straightway Jesus constrained his disciples to get into a ship, and to go before him unto the other side, while he sent the multitudes away. Mat 14:23 And when he had sent the multitudes away, he went up into a mountain apart to pray: and when the evening was come, he was there alone. Mat 14:24 But the ship was now in the midst of the sea, tossed with waves: for the wind was contrary. Mat 14:25 And in the fourth watch of the night Jesus went unto them, walking on the sea.
Mar 6:45 And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. Mar 6:46 And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray. Mar 6:47 And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. Mar 6:48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. Mar 6:49 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out: Mar 6:50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid. Mar 6:51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.
These two passages seem to reflect the same event taking place, but take note, there is a slight, but highly significant difference between them. In both of these passages we see that JESUS expected to meet HIS Disciples on the other side, but in Matthew 14:25 it says that JESUS walked on the water out to them, but in Mark 6:48 it says that JESUS walked out to them BUT WAS ABOUT TO PASS THEM BY.
In Mark 4:35 -39 (above) we see that JESUS taught HIS Disciples how to calm the storm when it came against them all. However, in Mark 6:48 when that same situation came against the Disciples, JESUS expected the Disciples to take what He had taught them earlier and use it against the wind and the waves. This is evident by the words of Faith that JESUS spoke in Matthew 14:22, "go before him unto the other side, " and in Mark 6:45 "And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida". JESUS expected to meet HIS Disciples on the other side of the Lake, not for them to be stuck in the middle of the Lake.
Mat 17:14 And when they were come to the multitude, there came to him a certain man, kneeling down to him, and saying, Mat 17:15 Lord, have mercy on my son: for he is lunatic, and sore vexed: for ofttimes he falleth into the fire, and oft into the water. Mat 17:16 And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Mat 17:17 Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me.
These same Disciples had walked with JESUS for years, they saw HIM raise the dead, they saw HIM miraculously heal the sick, give eyes to the blind and many more works of GOD. But, when this Father brought his Son to them, they could not do it. They had always waited for JESUS to do it, and in this case, once again JESUS had to do it instead of the Disciples.
The question that is before us today is simple, are we going to wait for JESUS to do everything for us or are we going to do what HE has taught us to do, GO INTO ALL THE WORLD AND MAKE DISCIPLES, HEAL THE SICK, GIVE EYES TO THE BLIND, AND EVERYTHING ELSE THAT WE HAVE SEEN JESUS DO?
John 14:12 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
This is being a Disciple, it is being a doer of the word, not just a Christian who sits in Church week after week and does nothing. Being a Disciple is a level above just being that type of Christian. HE knows we can do it and that we will do it. Like those early Disciples, HE expects more of us who are taught of HIM, so let's not disappoint HIM.