There is a buzzword getting plenty of attention in churches. Discipleship. Churches across the Christian spectrum seem to be on fire for discipleship. In Matthew’s gospel, we hear Jesus’ words “Go make disciples.” And so we go. Some congregations send out missionaries. Others engage in community mission projects. Still others simply cease calling those within their congregation “members” deferring to a new word, “disciples.”
John the Baptist was not a disciple of Jesus. John was the forerunner, the voice calling in the wilderness “prepare the way.” But as we take a close look at John’s ministry, we can say that in a sense, John was doing the work of discipleship. John pointed others in the direction of Jesus. He proclaimed the truth of Christ, that he is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world. And when questioned about all he was doing, John did not speak of himself; rather, he spoke of Christ, thus giving Christ glory.
Facing the same question the Priests and Levites posed to John, “What do you say about yourself?” Is it evident that you are a disciple of Jesus? Do you learn from his example each day then put what you learned into practice? Do you share the gospel and point others toward Christ at every opportunity? The truth bears hearing. One cannot make disciples unless one first becomes a disciple.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, teach me your ways and give me the will and desire to be your disciple. Amen.