Matthew 28:19 – “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,”
Disciple – a personal follower of Jesus during his life, especially one of the twelve Apostles. A follower of the teachings of Jesus Christ.
Let’s go back for a moment to Judea in the first century A.D. Understand that the “bible” at that time was the first five books of the Bible; Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy, also known as the Torah. Jews didn’t walk around with a Torah app on their phones, or a bound Torah under their arms. There were no printed Torahs. There were a precious few handwritten scrolls that contained the Torah, and those scrolls were in the possession of the “masters of the scripture”, the Rabbis. A Rabbi would teach the Torah to students, and the students who excelled in memorizing the Torah would be chosen to follow the Rabbi. These followers, many of them teenagers, were known as the Rabbi’s Talmidim, or disciples.
In first century A.D., God’s word was spoken, not read. Jews attended temple services to hear the word of God as it was read from the Torah. This was their only contact with the word of God. Jewish followers of a particular Rabbi were said to be “yoked” to that Rabbi. That Rabbi controlled their access to God’s word simply by what he chose to read from the Torah.
Think about the access you and I have to the Word of God. We not only have the Word at our disposal, but we have every imaginable commentary and discussion instantly available on our phone or computer. Being a disciple means focusing time and effort to learn the teachings of Christ and God’s word.
Disciple was probably always a hard word for me because it is the root word of discipline… So I didn’t read or study God’s word as a teen, or as a twenty-something, or for much of my thirties… That lack of Bible knowledge cost me dearly over those years and kept me from finding my faith. Now I will admit that I wasn’t receptive to learning God’s word either, but I hope you have been impressed by Joe, Erika and the Fuel leaders that learning, become a disciple of God’s word is critical to your growth, not only as a Christian but in making important life decisions as well. Being a disciple means having a hunger to learn what God has for you. I got that hunger after a lot of battles in life, and finally realizing I didn’t have all the answers I thought I did. My constant prayer for each of you when I upload these posts is that you will find that hunger now, like the Talmidim did 2,000 years ago.