Friday, 13 June 2014

Digging Deeper into Disciples Pt 2

The word disciple is not only a noun as in disciple it is also a verb meaning 'to become a disciple' or 'to cause someone to become a disciple'. It is used in this way in...
Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. Matt 27:57 NKJV.
Young's Literal Translation has...
And evening having come, there came a rich man, from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was discipled to Jesus, Matt 27:57 YNG.
Did you notice the emphasis? He was not a 'disciple of Jesus' in a general sort of a way. He was personally 'discipled to Jesus'. Joseph of Arimathea was not ' a distant camp-follower' of Jesus Christ he had become 'yoked' to him and was 'learning' from him. No doubt there were many who had had this kind of encounter with Christ and had come 'under his yoke' and whose lives were now 'at his disposal'.

The verb, rather than the noun, is used again in the next chapter of Matthew.
Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, Matt 28:19 NKJV.
That is a commission to bring men and women of all nations to the event in which they bow their neck to the yoke of Jesus Christ. There is no hint here that this was expected to be a long process of catechising resulting in this surrender. The form of the verb here indicates that this has a 'point' in view rather than a process. Youngs Literal Translation has an interesting use of parentheses here...
having gone, then, disciple all the nations, (baptizing them — to the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all, whatever I did command you,) and lo, I am with you all the days — till the full end of the age.’ Matt 28:19–20 YNG.
The significance of that is the implication that the way in which men and women were to be brought into discipleship to Jesus Christ was water baptism and teaching them to obey Christ's commands. This is personal surrender and personal tutelage at the hands of Jesus Christ.

This is not the last use of the verb in the Acts.
And when they (Paul and Barnabas) had preached the gospel to that city (Derbe) and made many disciples, they returned to Lystra, Iconium, and Antioch, Acts 14:21 NKJV.
It is a challenging account. They 'evangelised the city' and 'discipled many'. We are not to think of modern discipling patterns when we read that account. They evangelised the city and brought many to the event of surrendering their lives and rights to Jesus Christ. Little wonder that such a truth and such a church planting practice turned the world upside down.

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