well friends, we’ve had some great input on what it means to be a disciple. as we bring this conversation to a close, though, i can’t help but come to some disturbing conclusions. it seems to me that, in the church, there are millions of christians and only a handful of disciples (by the definitions you submitted). the ultimate, bottom-line issue we must consider is this: is it enough? can i “get by” (define that as you will) by being a christian and not growing into discipleship? does jesus expect/command us to become disciples?
last time we considered jesus’ words, “in the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple” (luke 14:33). kevin commented:
The most comfortable interpretation (and most popular) would say that we must simply be “willing” to give up everything.
i’ve also often heard this interpretation, but it seems to me that jesus could just have easily said, “you must be willing to give up everything” but he didn’t. he plainly requires his followers to abandon their lives and devote themselves totally to him.
the comment consensus seemed to be that, while we are well aware of what jesus is asking, we are just not going to go there. consider the following candid responses of some honest readers of these humble ramblings…
“Doing your best” to live up to “impossible” standards is, in fact, clinging to what you HAVE. Only Jesus can live by those standards, and that’s why we’ve been put to death and given another life… HIS. But we know better, and continue “trying” to do what only He can do.
Perhaps the answer to the question is: it’s a heart issue. Allow the Holy Spirit complete access to our hearts and keep loosening our grip.
I should re-phrase my comment from “I do live as best as I can” to “I live as best as I am going to.” Thats much more honest!…I do think a human can come very close to living his/her life just like Jesus did in his earthly ministry; virtually all of us just don’t want to.
This is way too uncomfortable for a Saturday night. I am going to watch the football game!
are we in danger of cheapening the words of jesus? are we allowed to apply the ones we like and ignore the ones we don’t? jesus said, “if anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me” (matthew 16:24). so what does he mean by “come after me”? is that for a christian or a disciple? we are winding down to the end of this discourse, but i would be interested in your feedback to this question:
what do we forfeit if we decide we don’t want to pay the cost to be disciples?