February 15, 2023 –
Several months ago, my wife and I went to Best Buy to buy an iPad. We quickly found customer service people are hard to locate. Knowledgeable ones are even more difficult to find. But we encountered a family of four waiting for anyone to help them.
I don’t know whether it’s me or life, but I seldom strike up conservation without reason with strangers. But I felt urged to ask the father if he was a Christian. He said, “Don’t get me wrong, but l do not identify with being a Christian. I prefer to say I am a disciple. Many people I know say they are Christian, but their actions prove otherwise.”
I did not see that coming.
When I got home, I researched the concept of discipleship. The dictionary on my computer deﬁnes “discipleship as the condition or situation of being a disciple, a follower, or a student of some philosophy, especially a follower of Christ.”
The father I talked with is right. Christian discipleship means more than just church membership, Bible reading, and praying. It signifies a relationship with the master teacher, following Him, and imitating his way of life because his teaching shapes your life.
Jesus’ expectation for his followers is clear: “above all else, to be like him and accept difficulties. “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow me” (Luke 9:23, ESV)
People can be both. A Christian and a disciple. But they cannot be Christians and not be disciples. There is no middle ground. “Therefore, go and make disciples.”