Summary: As a disciple, we are called to see Christ and emulate Him; to see a need and meet it.
I am an ambassador for Christ. I am God’s masterpiece. I am an overcomer through Christ.
• I am the salt of the earth and light of the world.
• I have an identity that cannot be ignored, an influence that cannot be neglected.
• This is a calling, not an option. The Lord expects us to be good salt and shining light for Him.
Today we are going to wrap up this series, Who Do You Think You Are.
• Let me start with this question: What do you think of when you hear the word Christian?
• What kind of impression people have of what a Christian is?
• It depends on who you ask, right? For some, Christians are known for what they are against – they are against having fun, they don’t drink, they don’t smoke, they don’t gamble. They are narrow-minded, legalistic and maybe judgmental.
• Some would say what they are for – Christian are loving people, they are kind-hearted, generous people.
What’s interesting is that Jesus did not call people to be Christians.
• Believers were first called Christians in Antioch (according to Acts 11:26), and that was likely given by the pagan population in the city, more out of scorn.
• Jesus uses the word DISCIPLE - Luke 14:27 “And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.”
• The word “disciple” means learner or student.
So what is expected of a DISCIPLE? The disciples started their journey in response to Jesus’ call to FOLLOW ME.
• He made that simple call to Simon Peter, Andrew, James, John, and Matthew.
• Let’s take a closer look at His call to Matthew, the tax-collector, in Matt 9:9-15.
Jesus simply called Matthew to FOLLOW ME and he got up and followed Him.
• It was not complicated. No interview was involved. No form to fill.
• Jesus did not say: “Do you want to be a Christian? You’ve got to believe what I believe. Or you need to go to church. And abide by the rules and be good. Going by the way you are living, that won’t do. You’ve got to change your ways.”
• That would sound religious. This would be religion. But that’s not what Jesus was asking for.
Matthew was not taken into a classroom, to listen to some lectures.
• He was led into Jesus’ life, to walk and live with Him for 3 years.
• Matthew saw Jesus in action, close-up. He saw a man who is willing to talk and eat with them, who heal the sick, show mercy to the undeserving, and befriend the sinners.
• Matthew saw a different life. In fact, it’s the new life, a life that’s in sync with God.
It wasn’t a new religion that he saw. It wasn’t about a new set of belief. It wasn’t even about following a moral code of conduct.
• It was about Jesus. It was about His life that Matthew was asked to see and emulate. He was called to learn HOW TO LIVE.
• His faith in Jesus transformed him to do just that – to live like Christ.
• Zaccheaus was transformed in the same way when he met Christ. No education changed him. He did not go through a one-month training course.
(1) AS A DISCIPLE, YOU ARE CALL TO SEE CHRIST AND EMULATE HIM
We are called to live like Jesus – to care for the sick, to desire mercy, to call sinners back to God. Life change is His goal.
• People are concerned about keeping rules; Jesus was concerned about changing lives.
• Jesus did not come primarily to increase our knowledge but to change our lives. He says, “I have come that they may have life and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10)
• We are not asked to follow a set of beliefs, but to follow Him. There is a fine line here – one is to impart knowledge, the other imparts life.
• D. L. Moody said it right: "The Bible was not given to increase our knowledge but to change our lives."
It is nice to say, I believe what Jesus believe. I am taught the truth about God; that’s good (the devil too has knowledge about God).
• Knowing the right stuff doesn’t make you a DISCIPLE.
• Christianity is not about doctrines, although they are important. It is not about a list of do’s and don’ts, although these do matter.
• It has to do with Jesus Christ. As a disciple, we are called to live like Christ.
Many in Jesus’ times (and our times) were too caught up by traditions and rules.
• You shouldn’t be eating with tax-collectors and sinners; disciples must wash their hands before they eat (Matt 15:2), John’s disciples fast, you ought to fast.