[forthright] Discipleship

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From: Forthright Magazine <forthrightmag@...>
Date: Sat, 20 Mar 2010 07:53:33 -0700 (PDT)
Forthright Magazine 
http://www.forthright.net 
Straight to the Cross

When troubles come, no one knows better than Job. 'In
Search of Perfection: Studies from Job,' by Michael E.
Brooks. Click here:
http://forthrightpress.com/#InSearchOfPerfection


COLUMN: FIELD NOTES

Discipleship
 by Michael E. Brooks

"So the disciples went and did as Jesus commanded them"
(Matthew 21:6 NKJV).

Is there any of us who doesn't sometimes feel a
rebellious urge?

Rejection of authority seems to be a basic instinct,
and I am not sure that it is not increasing in popular
acceptance with every year. No one admires the hard
working conformist. It is the rebel who attracts our
interest.

No virtue is more basic to Christianity than that of
submission to the will of God. "Not everyone who says
to me 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven,
but he who does the will of my father in heaven" 
(Matthew 7:21).

As we read the story of Jesus' life on earth, and his
relationships with his followers, we note that when he
spoke they listened; when he commanded they obeyed.

One might well define discipleship as obedience. A
disciple is one who learns from another, or who follows
another. The ancient relationship of master - disciple
was very similar to the more modern practice of
apprentice.

The disciple would attach himself to a teacher, serving
and helping that teacher in exchange for his education.
There was never any question about the nature of the
relationship -- it was clear who was in charge.

We would do well to remind ourselves that we are
disciples of Jesus Christ. He is our teacher and our
master. "You call me Teacher and Lord and you say well,
for so I am" (John 13:13).

If he is indeed our Teacher and our Lord, we must obey
his commands. There is no compromise with this truth.
It is the nature of the relationship.

How often do those in authority find themselves having
to explain to their subjects why they must do a certain
thing, or why they must do it in a certain way? There
is that ever present urge to challenge orders, to
question authority.

Those in command must prove their right to issue
instructions, and defend those instructions' validity.

How totally inappropriate such a challenge is to the
Lord of all creation. Jesus claimed "All authority has
been given to me in heaven and on earth," (Matthew
28:18).

If that claim is true, how can we hesitate even an
instant before obeying his every command? If it is not
true, why do we claim faith in him at all?

We do not establish ourselves as stronger, braver or
more heroic by defying the power and authority of
Christ. No, we simply establish our disbelief and
rebellion.

A true disciple does what Jesus commands, quickly,
without dispute. That is what it means to follow him.

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