Observing the Disciples of Jesus


      Those that became disciples of Jesus learned His doctrine and followed Him as teacher. "Therefore, when the Lord knew that the Pharisees had heard that Jesus made and baptized more disciples than John (though Jesus Himself did not baptize, but His disciples), He left Judea and departed again to Galilee. But He needed to go through Samaria." (John 4:1-4) Christ must be viewed as Master Teacher and His followers must be "learners" or "disciples." Let us observe the disciples of Jesus:


            The disciples of Jesus come to Him for forgiveness. Forgiveness is only "in" and "though" Jesus and only on His terms. The mes­sage of salvation is the message of the cross. The desire of Jesus is to make disciples. "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' Amen." (Matthew 28:18-20) In humble, loving obedience we all should fall at Jesus' feet for forgiveness. "And having been perfected, He became the author of eternal salvation to all who obey Him." (Hebrews 5:9)


            The disciples of Jesus must be fashioned and formed to His likeness. A disciple of Jesus is a person that has been formed and fashioned to His will.  "But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord." (2 Corinthians 3:18)  Let us learn Jesus' will and be formed in His likeness. It is God's desire that Christians conform to the image of His Son. Paul wrote, "For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren." (Romans 8:29)


      The disciples of Jesus must be fitted for and involved in the Master's service. Once a person is converted he must become profitable to God and to others also. Such was the case as Paul wrote to Philemon concerning Onesimus, "who once was unprofitable to you, but now is profitable to you and to me." (Philemon 11)  Only a true and faithful disciple is fit for service to Jesus. Come to Jesus to be forgiven. Stay with Jesus to be formed and fashioned to His will. Go for Jesus as one fitted for His service.  "...And have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him." (Colossians 3:9-10)


            Those that have allowed their lives to be transformed from an old life to a new and conformed to the image of Christ are useful disciples. Are you fit for the Master's use? You have only a short time to be a disciple of Jesus. It is time to become a Christian now! To become a Christian you must hear the gospel (Romans 10:17), believe in Jesus (John 8:24), repent of sins (Acts 17:30), confess Christ as Lord (Acts 8:37), and be baptized to be saved. (1 Peter 3:21) After baptism follow Jesus in faithfulness as He leads you home to heaven. (Revelation 2:10) Preparation time will end. The opportunity for serving others and doing good to them will end in a brief time. We must be constantly "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)


By Charles Box, Walnut Street Church of Christ, P.O. Box 551, Greenville, Alabama 36037 USA