What Is A Disciple Of Christ?


If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.

Luke 14:26, 27

Jesus demands total commitment when He calls us to be His disciples. That means everything we do must please Him. It also means that everything we do has to be in obedience to His teachings. Our highest loyalty has to be to Him.

I need to point out that when Jesus says we must hate our families He is not talking about extreme animosity. The Greek word translated hate actually means to love less. We are to love our families, friends, and our very lives less than we love Jesus.

I never appreciated the significance of this commandment before I had begun to put my trust in The Lord in a practical way. I realized that my family was as much of an obstacle to serving The Lord as any temptation. It was eye-opening to realize that those who are believers in Christ, though they be well-intentioned, will lead you astray.

We see an example of this from Jesus’ own life in the gospel according to John:

Now the Jews’ feast of tabernacles was at hand. His brethren therefore said unto him, Depart hence, and go into Judæa, that thy disciples also may see the works that thou doest. For there is no man that doeth any thing in secret, and he himself seeketh to be known openly. If thou do these things, shew thyself to the world. For neither did his brethren believe in him. Then Jesus said unto them, My time is not yet come: but your time is alway ready. The world cannot hate you; but me it hateth, because I testify of it, that the works thereof are evil. Go ye up unto this feast: I go not up yet unto this feast; for my time is not yet full come.

John 7:2-8

Another example comes from Jesus’ first miracle at the wedding in Cana, where He turned water into wine:

And when they wanted wine, the mother of Jesus saith unto him, They have no wine. Jesus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come.

John 2:3,4

Our loved ones often offer solutions derived from their own clever minds rather than encouraging us to be faithful. They assume, like the world, that there is a formula for solving problems or achieving goals and we need to simply follow it. Sometimes we have to give God a little help.

Jesus, however, calls us to wait on the Lord. We are supposed to follow His example of going places, doing works, and saying things only when God commands us. Jesus knew that the Father would provide everything He needed at the right time and entrusted everything to His care. He concerned Himself with being obedient to how God commands us to live through His word.

You probably have family and friends who are telling you what you need to do to get a job, to marry the right person, or to be happy. Unless it is their responsibility to provide you with it you need to take what worries you to God in prayer. If you need something then you should be harassing God about it every day.


Under the Mosaic covenant the Jews had to bring animals sacrifices to offer God but as disciples of Christ we are the sacrifice, a living sacrifice offered up daily. I think that when Jesus said He testifies that the works of the world are evil He was doing so by the way He lived, completely surrendered to the will of God at every moment. The way of the world is to do what you think is right when you want to do it but Christ’s is to do what the Father wants when He wants us to do it. That’s what it takes to be His disciple.


The Light Of God


My devotional had recently taken me through the epistles of John and it was my first time studying them all in any depth. I have a tendency to think of various books, in their entirety, as being more complex and daunting than they really are. However, John’s letters have a simple yet profound message. One of the recurring themes is that the love of God must be manifest in us through our love and devotion to the brethren. There’s much to discover so let’s get to it.

In 1 John 1:5 we read:

This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.

Light, in the context of this letter, means perfect truth and goodness. John wrote in his gospel that Jesus said of Himself, “I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.” Jesus was the very embodiment of truth and goodness. His judgments were true, as it says later in John 8, and He always did what pleased the Father. He never hid Himself or His plans from God in shame or arrogance. Everything was laid bare and there was no barrier between them. This allowed them to enjoy the most intimate relationship. We should not look at that as an unattainable dream but a model for our own lives.

When we accept the gospel we enter into the fellowship with the church, walking in the light of God. Where there is light there can be fellowship but where there is darkness there can be no fellowship. John is telling the brethren that they can have this fellowship with him, and the brethren, by receiving this message which he himself had heard. Walk in the light and confess your sins and you will be cleansed from all unrighteousness.

This verse is the inspiration for the hymn, “Heavenly Sunlight.” The song is one that I’ve always enjoyed and I recently came across a different rendition that has more soul. Ever since I first heard this hymn it has always been associated in my mind with this passage. The video is filmed in a church and they do not begin singing until 0:57.