Sunday Service (M883) | Mount Zion Church | 15 September 2019 | Attitude of A Disciple | Discipleship Series | Matthew 28:19-20
Jesus is always looking for the disciple! He gave the Great Commandment for His disciples to go and make other disciples of all the nations Mt.28:19-20. New Testaments gave us a deeper meaning of the journey of our faith, not only to become the follower of Christ but to be the disciples of Christ. The word ‘Christians’ was given first not to just common people, but to the disciples in Antioch Ac.11:26. Being a disciple will definitely bring an important meaning to our life. We will have an obvious target for our journey of faith. We will have a bolder and stronger commitment for our faith. And also, we will get His promise be done in our life as He gave it to the disciples and not to others. We must prepare ourselves to always be ready to be the disciples of Christ. Jesus taught about the cost of being a disciple: bear our cross and come after Jesus Lk.14:27. Jesus told us that being a disciple is just like build a tower above the foundation that we already have in Jesus. Being a disciple is the next step of our salvation, yet the greatest opportunity that we can have in this world to develop and nurture the character of Christ within us, until we come to the perfect man, to the measure of the fullness of Christ Eph.4:13. The next thing that we are going to learn about being a disciple of Christ is about the attitude of a disciple: keep seeking the Master and asking Him, like to ask a question to the Master.
10 And the disciples came and said to Him, “Why do You speak to them in parables?” 11 He answered and said to them, “Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given. 12 For whoever has, to him more will be given, and he will have abundance; but whoever does not have, even what he has will be taken away from him. Matthew 13:10-12 NKJV
PRIVILEGE TO COME CLOSER: NO LONGER THE OUTSIDERS
Jesus said that common followers were outside, so all things come in parables, but the disciples were in the inner circle so that they could know the mystery of the kingdom of God Mk.4:11. The disciples not only watched the miracles, but they lived within miracles in every single day! This privilege is also given to all believers who have the commitment to be the disciples of Christ. The inner circle represents those who want to come closer to God and live within the Holy Place in the Tabernacle. God indeed open this invitation to all believers but unfortunately not all of them want to accept it. Don’t just live in the court of the Holy Temple of God. He invites us to come closer and closer. Being disciple means that we are always having a good desire to come closer to Him. Those who are planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God Ps.92:13. The disciples are those who let the Holy Spirit hold their hands so that they can walk in Spirit, come into the house of the Lord, no longer stay in the court, being planted within the house of the Lord, know God more, and then they will definitely flourish in the courts of God. Unless we are planted in the Holy Place, we won’t be able to flourish and bear fruits. The disciples of Christ are those who will still bear fruit in old age, even they will be fresh and flourishing, to declare that the Lord is upright Ps.92:14-15! The secret of having a fruitful life is only to be the disciple: abide in Jesus, and His words abide in us Jn.15:7-8. Let’s have a good response to this privilege, to this open invitation for all believers. This world always offers more privilege in an expensive way. People need to pay more to get more privilege for their travel, for their holiday, for their dining experience, even sometimes they need to pay double or more. Even though it requires more sacrifice, those who can afford it still want to buy it because they can see the wonderful privilege that they will get. In the journey of our faith, the privilege to be the disciple of Christ is given for free, no cost, it will only take our commitment and our willingness to bear the cross of Christ. Only those who have their eyes of heart keep opened will be able to see and then decide to be the disciple of Christ, just like Moses choosing rather to suffer the cross with the people of God than to enjoy the passing pleasures of sin, he was esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt; for he looked to the reward in eternity Heb.11:24-26.
PRIVILEGE TO KNOW MORE: INQUIRE OF GOD ABOUT EVERYTHING
The disciples of Christ must have this important attitude at all the time: like to inquire of God about everything! As the disciples of Christ, we have the privilege to know more. The Gospel wrote so many times how the disciples like to inquire of Jesus for everything they want to know, and that is the privilege of being a disciple: know everything better rather than the other followers! Sometimes Jesus just spoke to the multitude of people in parables and gave no more explanation. But for His disciples, Jesus disclosed everything and taught them more. The disciples could feel free to come to Him anytime and ask the meaning of everything! When the disciples were failed to rebuke the demon from a child, they came to Jesus privately and they could ask the reason behind their failure Mt.17:19. The disciple could have private moment with their teacher! When they want to know about the end times, they asked Jesus privately saying, “Tell us, when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age Mt.24:3?” When they did not understand about His sharp saying to the Pharisees, they could just simply ask Him and got the answers Mt.15:12. The disciples must raise an inquiry of God about everything in our life so that we can know and learn better, otherwise we will waste our privileges to be the disciple!
King David gave us a good example of being a good disciple of God. Even though he was a well-experienced man of war, he never thinks that he knows about everything! This is a very important attitude that we must have as disciples of Christ. When David had a big war against Philistines in the Valley of Rephaim, David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I go up against the Philistines? Will You deliver them into my hand?” And the Lord said to David, “Go up, for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into your hand 2Sam.5:19.” And when the same Philistines went up once again and deployed themselves in the same place, David keep inquired of the Lord and He gave David another brand-new strategy. The Lord said, ““You shall not go up; circle around behind them and come upon them in front of the mulberry trees. And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the mulberry trees, then you shall advance quickly. For then the Lord will go out before you to strike the camp of the Philistines 2Sam.5:23-24.”
Why the disciples of Christ must keep inquiring of the Lord at all times about everything? Even though we think that we are able to do that by ourselves, the Bible still teach us to inquire of God as the first thing to do. First, we only know a little, but He knows everything! God always have the answer for us! For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are His ways higher than our ways, and His thoughts than our thoughts Is.55:9. The disciples is those who always acknowledge God in all of their ways so that God will direct their paths Pr.3:6. Even though Paul was an apostle and also a teacher, he always had an attitude of a disciple! He liked to say: “That I may know Him and power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings Phil.3:10.” Even though Paul got a heavenly wisdom and wrote so many epistles that now we have in our Bible, Paul always has a desire to know more because he felt nothing in the presence of God. Second, we are not able to know about the tomorrow, but He holds our future! James warned believers not to boast about tomorrow. He wrote that our life is even a vapor that appears for a little time and then vanishes away Jam.4:13-16. We must inquiry of the Lord for what we will do because He knows the best things for our future. David had a plan to build the house of the Lord and that plan looked so good in his eyes and also in the eyes of Nathan the prophet, somehow that was not the best thing for David, that was not something that God prepared in the days of David, it is about something that God already prepared for the future, in the days of Solomon 1Chr.17:1-27. Since only God knows the best for us, we must keep inquiring of Him at all the time so that we will be able to do God’s will in our days, in our own generation Ac.13:22. Third, God always have something new for us. We may have our own experience to solve something, but God is able to do something more than normal, He is God of all gods, He is the Creator of everything, He can do something totally different from the last days, so that His disciples will always have a fresh journey with Him! The mercies of the Lord are new every morning, great is His faithfulness Lam.3:23. We must inquire within God for the fresh help, the fresh anointing, the fresh encouragement, the fresh hope, the fresh love. At the end of everything, God will say, “Behold, I make all things new Rev.21:5!” Even for the same problem at the same place, God had a new answer for David so that David could have a complete victory over the enemies. If we never inquire God, we will only able to face our challenge based on our experience or other people’s experiences. But when we inquire God for our difficulties, He will directly give the fresh solutions for us, perfectly tailored for our condition.
CONCLUSION & CHALLENGE
What it’s all about?
How wonderful is that to be the disciple of the Greatest Teacher ever! We are called as disciples so that we can have those special privileges. We can come closer, we can live within miracles, we can understand more, we can inquire of Him for every questions we may have. As the disciples of Christ, we must inquire of God more than anyone else in this world because He is our Teacher. At least we have 3 important reasons why we must keep inquiring Him at all the time: He knows everything, He holds our future, and He always has something new. Let’s come to His presence and bring any inquiry we may have.
Insights and impressions:
Nicodemus was a ruler of the Jews and he acknowledged Jesus as a teacher come from God. Coming to Jesus by night was a way that Nicodemus could do at that time to submit himself as a disciple and Jesus as the Great Teacher. Even though Jesus never called him as a disciple, we may learn the attitude of disciple from Nicodemus: he came to inquire Jesus about how to be born again Jn.3:3-4. His question then became the important foundation whenever all believers all around the world want to learn about new life in Jesus Christ. While Nicodemus had to squeeze himself at night to come to Jesus, we have plenty and abundant time to make our inquiry to Jesus! We may ask Him for everything that we want to know, and He will lead our way to understand more through all His peoples around us.
Let’s always put this attitude of disciple first in all areas of our life. A disciple must not count himself to know about everything! Otherwise he will be a teacher and no longer a disciple of Christ. Whenever we need help, whenever we are getting stuck for something, let’s open our mouth and ask Him for the solutions. Whenever we have a planning for something, do not forget to acknowledge Him in all of our ways. Bring it in our prayer and start praying for that until God will give confidence and peace in our heart (read 1John 3:20-21). AMEN.