Our first week was spent dissecting Matthew 4 and 10, where Christ calls his disciples into a very well described walk on the adventurous side of life. He's forthcoming in the description of what a disciple life will look like and in fact, if society used Christ's method of a business plan overview, well there would be fewer skydivers, bungee jumpers and other risk takers. He makes the cost clear....
Pretty much this is how Jesus describes the disciple life:
1. You'll be sent out as a sheep, in a wolves world (10:16)
2. You'll be handed over to the courts (10:17)
3. You'll be scourged, whipped, lashed (10:17)
4. You'll be brought before the government (10:18)
5. You'll be hated (10:22)
6. You'll be forsaken and even killed by family (10:35, 36)
And this is how we're to handle the disciple life:
1. Be wise and innocent (10:16)
2. Beware of men (10:17)
3. Don't worry about how or what you are to say (10:19)
4. Walk humbly (10:24)
5. Do not be afraid (10:26)
6. Speak the words Christ gives to say (10:27)
7. Endure (10:22)
8. Take up your cross (10:38)
9. Find your life in Christ (10:39)
And this is why we are to live a disciple life:
1. To bring men to Jesus (this making other disciples) (4:19)
2. To be a testimony of Christ's work in us (10:18)
3. Because He will confess us before the Father in heaven (10:32)
4. To lose ourselves in His identity (10:39-40) (not I but Christ mentality)
I've had a few weeks to think about what these verses are saying and it has brought me to a place of deeper understanding and perhaps even a little disappointment in how I've handled being a disciple of Christ. This selfless, demanding walk with Christ requires much more than I feel I've been giving....um, it requires everything. EVERYTHING. This bold lifestyle isn't a fad or trend, it's the norm...and let's be honest, it's rare, even in my own little Christian world, to see someone living their faith out in such way.
Let's be honest, usually the first sign of persecution and we're yelling "Foul!, Not Fair!, I Quit! OUCH!" or we're screaming about our rights and freedom. When truthfully, shouldn't we KNOW that if we are a disciple, such things are GOING to happen (His Word tell us)...pain is going to come, persecution will happen, even death is possible, you will be treated poorly.
So before we go off bragging that we are a sold out disciple of Christ, maybe we need to review the highlights of what we signed up for. Maybe we need to check to be sure we are living this kind of life...because if you're anything like me, I've pity partied myself to death over mistreatment, unfair life events and even family circumstances....when really in all actuality, I should have considered it par for the course.
I'm hoping as we go through this study at church that I gain a deeper understanding in what this looks like in my day to day life.
What about you? Do you find yourself struggling to understand and be a disciple of Christ? Be encouraged God knows our hearts and our desire or lack thereof to follow Him.
I paraphrased this paragraph from Matthew Henry's Commentary:
What if He could say of Me?
She will I confess, though a poor and worthless worm of this earth, she is one of mine...one of my friends, who loved me and was beloved by me. I will confess her before my Father. I will speak a good word for her. I will present her. I will REpresent her...to MY Father. When she has most need to me, I will represent her.
That's my disciple prayer...