The Call of Discipleship
Monday – What is a disciple?
A disciple is one who follows, a student or apprentice of a master teacher. Disciples pattern their lives after the example of their teacher. Jesus is our teacher, Lord, and savior. Being his disciples, means that our lives belong to him.
In this story from Luke 5:1-11, we read about Jesus calling his first disciples. They are professional fishermen who leave behind their boats and nets to follow Jesus. This journey will take them all the way to Jerusalem where Jesus will die on the cross. And after his resurrection, they will go on, with the power of the Holy Spirit, to launch a movement called the church.
Tuesday – Discipleship is serious
Discipleship is a way of life. It involves all that we have and all that we are. Jesus doesn’t call us to be casual followers or nominally affiliated with him. The first disciples left everything behind to follow Jesus. That’s serious.
Wednesday – Discipleship is costly
Dietrich Bonhoeffer said that too much of Christian living is simply fluff, lacking in substance. He called this “cheap grace.” In his great work The Cost of Discipleship, Bonhoeffer writes,
“Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without the living, incarnate Jesus Christ. Costly grace is the hidden treasure in the field, for the sake of which people go and sell with joy everything they have…it is the call of Jesus Christ which causes a disciple to leave his nets and follow him…It is costly because it costs people their lives; it is grace because it makes them alive.”
Thursday – Discipleship is life at its fullest
Our culture presents wealth and pleasure as the ultimate goals we should strive for. Freedom is often defined as doing what we want, when we want, how we want. But the Gospel offers a much deeper definition of life and freedom. Freedom is found in loving God and our neighbors. Life in Christ is not marked by gaining but by giving.
Friday – You will be a disciple of something or someone
As Bob Dylan memorably sang, you will serve someone or something: “It may be the devil or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.” Take time this week to ask yourself, “Whose teachings do I really follow? Whose example do I imitate in my daily living?”
- Are we serious about discipleship? Are we willing to set aside our comforts, our pursuit of pleasure, and our preconceived ideas to follow Jesus wherever he leads?
- What else might serious discipleship cost us?
- Discipleship is costly, but God also wants it to bring us joy. As Bonhoeffer says, God’s grace is meant to make us fully alive.
- Take some time to reflect on the steps God may be calling you to take to deepen your Christian walk.
For Kids and Youth
Disciples are followers of Jesus. Have you ever played the old game Follow the Leader? In that game, you go where the leader goes and do what the leader does. That’s a lot like what it means to be a disciple. We go where Jesus wants us to go, and we try our best to do what Jesus would do.
When you walk into school this week, imagine that Jesus is going in ahead of you. You’re following him through the doors. Do the same thing at home or at ball practice or wherever you go. How would Jesus treat people? How would he talk? What would he do in the places where you spend time? Ask God to help you do what Jesus would do.