Summary: Today I want you to think about your identity as "a Disciple."
“As Jesus was going down the road he saw Matthew sitting in his tax-collection booth,
‘Come be my disciple,’ Jesus said. So Matthew got up and followed him.” Matthew 9:9
Intro: Today I want you to think about your identity as “a Disciple.”
When Jesus was thirty years old he began his public ministry.
The first thing he did was gather a group of people who he could train.
They are called his disciples.
Many times in Scripture it tells us that he invited people to become his disciples.
In Matthew 9:9 it says this, “As Jesus was going down the road he saw Matthew
sitting in his tax-collection booth,
‘Come be my disciple,’ Jesus said. So Matthew got up and followed him.”
Today, Jesus Christ makes this exact same offer to you to come be “a Disciple.”
He’s asking you this today: Come be “a Disciple.”
What is a “disciple?”
The word “disciple” comes from the Latin word dicipulus.
It means pupil
It means student
In the Greek it is the word mathetes which is in the Bible.
It means a student.
It means a learner.
It means a pupil.
A disciple is an apprentice.
It means someone in training
When a mentor takes on somebody to train they are called their disciple.
Moses’ disciple was Joshua.
Elijah’s disciple was Elisha.
David’s disciple was his son Solomon.
Elisha had disciples of his own.
John the Baptist had disciples.
Paul had a disciple named Timothy
One the most basic level
1. A disciple is just somebody who’s being mentored by somebody else.
So that’s the first way it’s used in the Bible.
2. The second way it’s used in the Bible is to refer to the twelve disciples,
physically the twelve guys that Jesus chose which were also called apostles.
3. The third way it’s used is in the book of Acts.
The word “disciple” is just a synonym for “Christian.”
It wasn’t until the church had spread completely out of Israel into Antioch
That the disciples were first called Christians.
So at first in the early Bible times nobody was called a Christian.
They were all called Jesus’ disciples.
But what I want us to look at this morning is what Jesus meant when he uses the term disciple.
Jesus frequently took a very common word like student, pupil, disciple, apprentice
and he adds new meaning to it.
So I want us to look at Jesus’ definition of what it means to be a disciple.
Because about ten times in Scripture Jesus says
“If you do this then you’re my disciple…
If you do this then you can follow me.”
So we want to look at what it means to be “a Disciple.”
1. To be a disciple I must learn to KNOW THE LOVE OF JESUS.
How do I do that?
How do I learn to know the love of Jesus.
I must spend time with Jesus – a lot of time with Jesus.
Because like any relationship, the more time you invest, the more you’re going to get out of it.
You can’t be a part-time disciple.
You don’t fit it into your schedule.
If I’m being trained by somebody,
if I’m being mentored by somebody,
I fit myself to their schedule.
They don’t fit themselves into my schedule
I fit myself to their schedule.
You can’t be a disciple in just a few minutes a day.
You’ve got to spend time.
You’ve got to be in constant conversation.
It’s a full-time responsibility.
You’re with your discipler.
You’re with your mentor.
You’re with your teacher, your trainer, all the time.
Here’s what Jesus said in John 12:26 “If you want to be my disciple you must come and follow me,
because my servants must be where I am. And if they follow me, the Father will honor them.”
This verse teaches us three things about spiritual growth.
As your pastor, one of my goals is to help you grow spiritually,
not just today, not just this week, but for the rest of your life.
I want you to write these three things down that we notice from this verse.
SPIRITUAL GROWTH IS A CHOICE.
God’s not going to force you to grow.
He leaves it up to you.
So I want you to think about the words “If you want to be my disciple.”
Think about the word “want.”
If you want to be my disciple
then you must make the choice to grow.
Do you want to grow in your spiritual life?
Spiritual growth is not automatic.
Spiritual growth is intentional.
It’s not something that just happens.
It’s not involuntary.
It’s not inevitable.
You have to choose to grow spiritually.
Jesus says I’m giving you the choice.
I want you to know my love, my love for you and my love for others.