Summary: A disciple is simply a pupil not necessarily a true disciple of Christ even though they follow Christ.
When someone says they are Christian, what do you think they mean??
There are too many definitions of Christianity out there. Which one is right? Let me ask this important question: What is the main root word of the word “Christian”??
Since the main root of the word Christian is Christ, the only right definition for Christian is what Jesus Christ says!
And we can read what Jesus Christ says in the Bible. Some Bibles have Jesus’ words in red; I think it is wonderful to highlight those words from our Creator and Savior God. Before reading our passage today in Luke Chapter 6, let us be reminded of what Jesus had already said about Christianity in previous passages in Luke:
Luke 2:49 – Jesus’ work is God’s work.
Luke 4:18 – Jesus has the Holy Spirit and is God anointed to set captives free!
Luke 5:10 – Jesus empowers people to be “fishers” of men (i.e. bring freedom to others).
Luke 5:20 - Jesus has power to forgive sins.
Luke 5:27 – Jesus calls people to follow Him.
Luke 5:32 – Jesus calls people to repentance from sins.
Luke 6:5 – Jesus proclaims He is Lord of rest, learning, worship, and holiness!
Do you and I proclaim to be Christian? Do we believe all of these things so far about Jesus Christ?
The first thing we need to note is: How important was prayer to Jesus? Jesus found a good place to pray and he prayed all night! Jesus lived with prayer! Are you wondering why your spiritual life is not as good as you would like it to be? Pray more!
Second question to ask is: How many disciples did Jesus have? Yes, there were 12 disciples very close to Jesus, but what do we note in v17 and 20? Jesus had many disciples besides the 12.
Before talking about disciples in general, let’s note the significance of the 12. Look again at v13……….
The 12 Disciples were called, chosen, and designated as apostles by Jesus Christ Himself! Just as the Jewish People were chosen by God, the 12 Disciples were chosen as a foundation for the church! Much happened and much can be learned through the 12 Apostles! God had a purpose for the 12 disciples.
By the way, if you study apostles in Scriptures, you will note that apostles were personally taught by Jesus Christ. Be careful of people calling themselves apostles today.
What we all need to learn is how to be a true disciple of Jesus Christ. You see, anyone can be a disciple but not necessarily a true disciple of Christ!
Let us define the term disciple. The original Greek word for disciples in our passage is mathetes which means a pupil, a learner. Anyone can be a disciple. Anyone can be a pupil and a learner. In general disciples aren’t necessarily called or chosen, they simply chose to be a learner. Do you see this in our passage?
We note in v17-19, many people came to listen and sought healing from Jesus and they were called disciples.
Verses 20-36 was told to all disciples in general; but v27-36 describe true disciples Jesus Christ was looking for. Let’s take a closer look.
From v20-22, we read disciples who are blessed:
- the “poor” has the kingdom of God
What does this mean? Is Jesus talking those who have no money? The original Greek word here for poor is ptochos which means begging, asking, because of need!
Jesus actually said in Matthew 5:3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. “ And so, what Jesus is talking about here are those disciples who see themselves so much in need “spiritually” that they beg God for help!
In complement, the next disciples who are blessed are those who are hungry.
- the hungry will be satisfied
The original Greek word here for hungry is “peinao” which means to crave or to seek with eager desire. And again from Matthew 5, Jesus said “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled.” And so, what Jesus is talking about here are those disciples craving for righteousness!
And God says, - laughter will be brought to those who weep.
What does this mean?
Again we can compare this to what Jesus said in Matthew 5:4, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.” And remember that Jesus said in Matthew 11:28, "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” And look back briefly to v5 of Luke 6……
Those who come to Jesus Christ will find comfort in spite of troubles.