Believer Or Disciple?

Thought For The Week 444

One Sabbath day, while eating at the home of a chief Pharisee, Yahshua made a quite extraordinary statement. “If anyone…does not hate his father and mother, wife and children…he cannot be My disciple” [Luke 14:26].  The word ‘hate’ as used here sounds harsh and, let’s be honest, devastating.  However, it’s not being used in the sense that we understand it. Here it means ‘to love less’.  You see, there’s no way Yahshua would contradict the commandment to honour our parents.  Nevertheless, it is saying we cannot be His disciples unless we love Him more than anyone else!  “He is claiming an unrivalled love,” writes Oswald Sanders.

How do you feel about such an astonishing demand?  Is it a demand?  Or is it a simple statement of fact?  I find myself wondering how Yahshua felt when making such a sweeping remark.  He was meek, humble, loving and kind, yet He calmly made a claim for our unrivalled love.  His personal vision and understanding were far beyond anything we can comprehend and, seeing clearly what was best for us, He was neither ashamed nor afraid to speak out. I so admire this side of His character!

Many believe in and love Yahshua, but how many of us want to become His disciple?  The dictionary defines a disciple as: “One who follows the opinions and teachings of another, believes in all his ideas, is a pupil to all His doctrines, tries to copy Him in everything and be just like Him.” I’m always challenged when I read this: am I a disciple?

The New Testament teaches of many requirements for a true disciple.  Love is often labelled as discipleship’s ‘hallmark’.  Among other recognised marks are fruit bearing, cross bearing, and dying to self, all of which are demanding.  Our beloved Yahshua doesn’t expect ‘instant’ disciples. He knows the requirements must be developed over time and, reading our hearts, allows space for us to be moulded and fashioned into His image.  The process, however, begins with love for Him - unrivalled love.  If we don’t have this, Oswald Sanders concludes,“…we may be believers, but He affirms we cannot be His disciples.”

Image by Airgil Daviss from Pixabay

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Rejoice, Rejoice, Oh Christian, Lift Up Your Voice And Sing Eternal Hallelujahs To [Yahshua the Messiah] The King! The Hope Of All Who Seek Him, The Help Of All Who Find, None Other Is So Loving, So Good And Kind.

Homer A. Rodeheaver


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