Following Jesus

 

Our stewardship emphasis for 2019 is “Disciples Living as Grace-filled Stewards,” which begins on September 5 & 8. The purpose of this article is to help us understand what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. When Jesus calls us to follow Him and we follow, we begin our journey as disciples.

 

In the early part of Jesus’ public ministry, Jesus called His 12 disciples. He called Peter and Andrew while they were fishing. He told them, “Follow Me and I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). A little later, He called James and John to follow. Jesus also called a tax collector and a zealot to be disciples. It is likely that the other disciples were craftsmen. Hearing Jesus’ invitation to follow Him, they left everything behind and followed immediately. From this point on they (except for Judas) were inseparable from their Lord. They spent approximately three years with Jesus, learning and listening. The Holy Spirit called them by the Gospel, as He does us today.

 

During His time on earth, Jesus showed His disciples to love and show mercy to people in need. Jesus showed compassion for the sick and hurting, healing the many who came to Him. He cared for their souls as He shared the life-changing Gospel. After hearing Jesus and seeing His miracles, many who heard the Gospel became followers of Jesus.   He changed peoples’ hearts and lives and gave them a new purpose for living. He gave them hope for their eternal future. After Jesus had spent time preparing His disciples for ministry, He sent them out to disciple others. These empowered disciples continued Jesus’ ministry of preaching and teaching the Word, baptizing, and loving all people. Their model of ministry was the very life of Jesus. Through the proclamation of the Gospel, many unbelievers became followers.

 

After Jesus’ ascension, these 12 disciples left a huge impact on the world. God graciously empowered and used these ordinary men for the extraordinary task of carrying His life-saving message to the world. They became instruments through whom God worked. In the same way, God uses ordinary people like us to be His disciples who carry the message to those who will be lost without hearing and believing in it. As Jesus’ disciples, we are the channels through whom He delivers His life-saving Gospel. We become Jesus’ hands, feet, and mouth to share the Good News of Jesus’ love to all people. By being disciples, we fulfill our Lord’s command to go and make disciples. Thanks be to God for giving us the privilege to serve Him by serving others as His disciples.

© 2019 Lutheran Church of the Prince of Peace
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