Summary: Jesus gave gives clear teaching on what the conditions are to become a disciple in Luke 9:23-24.
“Who is a Disciple of Jesus?”
Jesus gave the command to all His followers, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…”Matthew 28:19
Making disciples is a process, “Going” reaching out to others with the love of Jesus and telling the good news about Jesus. “Baptizing, in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” Those who receive Jesus and confess their sins and become Christians take a public stand by being baptized. “Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:20 As new Christians we are to learn the teachings of the Bible and obey the teachings.
Jesus is our model and example in disciple making. Jesus spent 30 years in preparation. At the age of 12 Jesus was ready to launch his public ministry. Luke 2:51-51 Jesus traveled to Jerusalem with his parents to participate in the Feast of the Passover. After the feast while his parents started back home Jesus stayed behind and for three days asked questions and listened to the teachers in the temple. The teaches of the law were amazed at the comments Jesus made during their time of discussion.
His parents thought Jesus was traveling with friends, but when they looked for him he was not found traveling with other people in their caravan. The parents became extremely worried and traveled back to Jerusalem and found Jesus in the temple talking to the teachers of the law. His mother said to him, “Son, why have you treated us like this? Your father and I have been anxiously searching for you.” Jesus answered his parents: “Why were you searching for me? Didn’t you know I had to be in my Father’s house?”
Then Luke the Gospel writer made the comment about Jesus that every parent would be ecstatic to have said about their children: “Then he/Jesus went down to Nazareth with them and was obedient to them… And Jesus grew in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men.” Luke 2:51-52
At the age of 30 Jesus began his public ministry and served for 3 ½ hears before his arrest and crucifixion. Jesus began his public ministry by being baptized.
Jesus set an example for all who would follow Him. Jesus was not baptized as a confession of sin. He was baptized to consecrate himself to his Messianic task. All priests were inducted into office by baptism.
For all people other than Jesus, baptism was linked to repentance. On the Day of Pentecost Peter preached the good news about Jesus and the people called out, “What shall we do?” Peter said, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.” Acts 2:37-38
Repentance always proceeds baptism. Repentance means a change of heart and a change of direction. It is a turning, turning around. Repentance is the basic condition needed for a person to enter heaven and the Kingdom of God. The Apostle Paul “Declared to both Jews and Greeks that they must turn to God in repentance and have faith in our Lord Jesus.” Acts 20:21 Repentance is “Godly sorrow that leads to the forsaking and turning away from sin.”
Baptism follows repentance and baptism is an outward sign of an inward work of God. Our Free Methodist Church recognizes three modes of baptism, sprinkling, pouring or immersion. I always encourage youth and adult baptisms by immersion. The Greek word Baptiso means to dip or plunge.
Jesus gave the command, “Go make disciples.” A “disciple” is a person in training or following someone. John the Baptist had his disciples and when Jesus began his public ministry he called people to follow him and become his disciples.
Luke 5:1-9 Jesus was teaching the people by the Lake of Gennesaret (Sea of Galilee). The crush of the crowd pushed him closer to the Lake. There were two boats there with fishermen washing their nets. Jesus got into one of the boats and sat down and continued to teach the people from the boat.
When he finished speaking he said to Simon/Peter, “Put out into deep water, and let down the nets for a catch.” Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.” When they let down their nets they caught so many fish their nets began to break. The fishermen including Simon and his brother Andrew, James and his brother John were astonished at the amazing catch of fish.
Jesus said to Simon and the other fishing partners: “Don’t be afraid! From now on you’ll be fishing for people!”