Summary: The basics of discipleship are easy to understand, not always easy to do, but thye are the prerequisites to become the kind of Christian God expects you to become.
Becoming The Messiah's Disciple
1. Sometimes we hear phrases and teachings so often that we could easily parrot them back, but we really understand?
2. A chauffeur had driven the chemistry professor to dozens of speaking engagements. He’d heard the same canned speech scores of times.
He said on the way to another engagement, "Professor, I believe I could give your speech myself; I’ve heard it so often." The professor said, "I’ll bet you $50 you can’t." "You’re on," said the chauffeur.
He stopped the car and the two exchanged attire. They came to the banquet. the chauffeur dressed in a tuxedo, sat at the head of the table and was introduced. he stood up and gave the speech verbatim.
There was a standing ovation when he was finished.
The emcee got up and said, "You know, we are so fortunate to have such a fine resource with us tonight, and since we have a little extra time, let’s have some questions and answers. The first question was asked and the chauffeur stood there dumbfounded. Finally he said, "That’s such an easy question, even my chauffeur could answer that question." Which, of course, he did. [Ryan Johnson, sermon central, altered]
3. Many Christians understand that they are expected to be disciples of Jesus Christ. But do we really know what that means? We can say the words, but when question time about being a disciple comes around, do we pass the buck to our pseudo-chauffer?
Main Idea: The basics of discipleship are easy to understand, not always easy to do, but thye are the prerequisites to become the kind of Christian God expects you to become.
I. If You Want to Be A Disciple, You Must Want to LEARN from Rabbi Jesus (35-39)
A. Following a rabbi was a COMMON occurrence
1. Having John the Baptist point to a rabbi & call him " Lamb of God" was not!
2. Jesus was like other rabbis in many ways; but in obvious ways, different!
B. A disciple would give PART of his life to study
Talmid, talmidim: Disciple, disciples
Haver, haverim: Fellow disciples who were friends and study partners
C. Apart from ancient Israel, how does the CONCEPT apply to us?
The system of training used by the Jews had to be adapted for the church…
1. Study is foundational
3. Fellowship with our rabbi
4. Fellowship with haverim
5. In a sense, a church's program is the institutionalizing of discipleship
One important measure of a church's ministry is whether people are maturing into solid disciples of Jesus Christ…
II. If You Want to Be Jesus' Disciple, You Must TRUST Him As Your Messiah (40-42)
A. You must be a FINDER
• We hear a lot about seekers, but many seekers do not really want to find
• Some people have questions but do not want answers
• Disciples are finders
B. You should be a RECRUITER
C. You must be who God MADE you to be
1. All the disciples were to become spiritual pillars, but not all leaders.
2. S. I. McMillen, in his book None of These Diseases, tells a story of a young woman who wanted to go to college, but her heart sank when she read the question on the application blank that asked, "Are you a leader?" Being both honest and conscientious, she wrote, "No," and returned the application, expecting the worst. To her surprise, she received this letter from the college: "Dear Applicant: A study of the application forms reveals that this year our college will have 1,452 new leaders. We are accepting you because we feel it is imperative that they have at least one follower."
[Source: Guy Caley, sermon central]
3. Peter was called a rock, and we will see Nathaneal praised for his ethics, a man in whom is no guile.
4. Rabbis typically pointed out the strengths of their disciples and sometimes nicknamed them after those strengths
[Ask folks to read at their own leisure if time is short]
David Friedman, in They Loved the Torah p. 61 comments about Peter (Shim'on):
I see Shim'on as Yeshua's Torah-observant....talmid hakham...a Hebrew technical term meaning the leading student (of a rabbi). Every famous rabbi who daily taught the same students had a talmid hakham, his chief student. This is the student who figured most prominently in narratives about his rabbi. In first-century Judaism, the chief student was trusted by his rabbi to learn and pass on the rabbi's teachings. The Talmud provides an example of this type of relationship...
Friedman then quotes the Talmud, Avot 2:10-12, for examples as to how rabbis would praise their disciples based upon their personal qualities:
Rabban Yochanan ben Zakkai had five disciples and these are they: Eliezer ben Hyrcanus, Joshua ben Chananiah, Yosi the Priest, Shimon ben Natanel, and Elazar ben Arach. He used to say their praise: