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Saturday, April 2, 2011

Making Disciples Like Jesus

Matthew 23:15 (NIV)
 "Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when he becomes one, you make him twice as much a son of hell as you are.

The church has a mandate. She is to make disciples of Jesus. Jesus' disciples are supposed to obey His commandments. It seems simple enough until you read what Jesus Himself did to make disciples.

Jesus preached on hillsides and in synagogues. He preached beside the sea. Each of these people came to hear this teacher tell them things they had never heard before. Many of them came tto be  healed. No doubt, many came to see a miracle or even eat from the hand of this miracle maker.

They heard things they couldn't understand. They heard things they didn't like. Many of them hated His concept of eating His flesh and drinking His blood. Many didn't want to have anything to do with Him after that. Jesus let them go. Many of them, no doubt, hated hearing that they could not be His disciples if they didn't hate their own mothers, fathers, wives, children and their own lives. They didn't like turning the other cheek nor elevating humility to a high virtue. They wanted something that took advantage of the world today. They wanted a method of being elevated over others.

The Church often pursues people rather than presents the teachings of Jesus. It doesn't seem to care whether or not people follow Him. In fact, the Church is more about who shows up and gives than making sure it is teaching Jesus' form of discipleship.

Many people ceased to follow Jesus as He taught. He let them go. It hurt Him to let them go. It was more important that the discipleship remained pure than they continue to hang around.

Does this mean anything? I think so. Pharisees pursued people to make them people who sought advantages for themselves. Jesus offered a difficult way of living which rejected this world as home.

Think about it. What kind of disciples are we making today?

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