Summary: This message focues on the character trait of obedience.
Discipleship Part 3: Character Traits
This morning we will begin our exploration of character traits of a good disciple. A character trait is defined as that behavior that is typical of an individual or group. These behaviors for the most part are learned behaviors and that is why although we are all different, we can learn the traits necessary to be a good disciple. We can learn those behaviors patterns to situations that will enable us to always walk in a Christ-like manner.
Last week I spoke about the process that Jesus used to develop His disciples. I shared with you that there were disciples who had walked with Jesus and performed miracles just as Jesus had, but when they got offended and chose to no longer walk with Him. The twelve disciples that we are most familiar with made a different choice. They chose to stay with Jesus after the others departed. This morning we will begin looking at what made these disciples who they were. What were some of their character traits that we should also develop as disciples?
There were hundreds of people that followed Jesus as He traveled, but He chose twelve to be His apostles (authorized representatives). Jesus did not choose them because of their standing in society because when you examine their lives, you will discover that most did not have a “positive” standing in society. He did not choose them because of their faith because many times their faith failed them. He did not choose them because of their talents and abilities as none of them stood out as having anything special about them. The twelve that He chose had a diversity of backgrounds and life experiences but apparently they did not have any more leadership potential than those who were not chosen. The one characteristic that they all shared was their willingness to obey Jesus. So let’s come forward some 2000 years. We have also been given the Holy Spirit to enable us to carry out a specific role in the growth of the Church today. We should not disqualify ourselves from service to Christ because we do not have someone’s expected credentials or life experiences. Being a good disciple of Christ is simply a matter of following Jesus with a willing heart and being obedient to Him. This is the first character trait of a good disciple that we will examine this morning.
Obedience is the one character trait that separated the twelve disciples who stayed with Jesus from those who left Him. The twelve were willing to follow Him even though they did not understand everything that He was teaching them. These twelve men, after Jesus ascended into heaven, were filled with the Holy Spirit and empowered to carry out specific roles in the growth of the early Church because they were obedient. Remember when Jesus ascended He told His disciples to wait in Jerusalem for the fulfillment of the promise which God had promised them? Jesus told them where they were supposed to stay and that is what they did – they obeyed. Through their obedience, they were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to go out and evangelize the world. Their efforts led to us being right here this morning.