I suppose it says something about my age that when I think of the word discipleship – several images come to mind:
- Jesus, sitting on a hillside, teaching his closest followers
- An oriental sage teaching a young monk nicknamed “grasshopper”
- A Jedi knight teaching a man named Luke Skywalker about “the force”
I know – it’s an odd mix of images. The first pops into my mind easily, given that I am a preacher’s kid and a preacher myself. The second and third are there because – well – like I said, it says something about my age.
It’s the first image that is the most important one though.
Discipleship is at the core of Christian faith. You can study Christianity, show a passing – or even a deep – interest in it. You can attend a church – or not – but those things, in and of themselves, do not mean you are a disciple. Listening to and following Christ – no matter what the cost – those are the marks of true discipleship.
Jesus reminds those who were following him one day of that stark reality. They could either just “go along with him,” to see what miracle he might do next or they could commit – they could promise they would follow his way – follow the Way – no matter what. Only then could they be considered his true disciples.
Though the world has changed much since that day – the basic truth remains.
We must count the cost of following this enigmatic figure called Jesus.
Still, if we follow, wherever He leads, in the end – whatever it costs – is worth it.
How about you? What does discipleship mean to you? What might it cost you to follow Him? Are you willing to pay that cost, if necessary?
These are not easy questions. They deserve prayerful thought and careful response.
Something to think about, “grasshopper.”