In the midst of some wonderful Sabbath fellowship, a recurring theme quickly became apparent – what is discipleship and what is our role in creating the new talmidim? While you may think that you have your bases covered, I warn you that it is much more than just a mere profession of faith, giving your testimony before a congregation, or proclaiming in the presence of others that you are “saved!” And while a mikvah (Baptism/immersion) may be a very important part of a conversion from “old man to new man,” it’s a little more than that.
The Messiah gave very specific, detailed instruction of how to follow Him, to be one of His taught ones (Apostles or Talmidim).
(24) Then Yahshua said to his talmidim, “If anyone desires to come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his stake, and follow me.
(25) For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, and whoever will lose his life for my sake will find it.
(26) For what will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his life? Or what will a man give in exchange for his life?
– We must be prepared to “die-to-self” in order to properly follow our Messiah. He tells us that persecution will almost certainly follow us if we choose to follow Him:
Yochanan (John) 15:20-21:
(20) Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his master. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.
(21) But all these things will they do unto you for my name’s sake, because they know not him that sent me.
Mattityahu (Matthew) 19:21, Marços (Mark) 10:21, Luços (Luke) 18:22: Yahshua said to him, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell what you have, and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.”
– We cannot have anything that separates us from him. That’s a very hard one to fathom in this day and time, in a society and culture that is caught up in materialism, and yet that is exactly what we must be prepared to do. Whether it is earthly possessions, relationships, or family, we cannot hold anything above the following of our Messiah and the esteem of Yahweh our Elohim. For those things that we cannot part with have become idols and high places in our lives. He gives us a choice:
Mattityahu (Matthew) 22:14: For many are called, but few are chosen.
We must personally accept the call of the Father and the Messiah to reject all, pick up our stake and follow him. Once we have, then we must accept the calling and teach others the Kingdom message – “… Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand…” Then, and only then can we build up the Talmidim and the Body of Messiah, unify it, and signal the Father that we are ready for His Kingdom to come in this generation! I pray that it is fulfilled in these days! May Yahweh bless and keep you – Shalom Aleichem!