Today’s Reading: Matthew 4:12-25 (additional reading: Psalm 4:1-8 & Proverbs 1:20-23)
Imagine being like those fishermen. Sitting at work, in a place that is familiar to you a place you are comfortable with, even if things were occasionally a bit difficult, then all of a sudden some character comes up to you and says “Hey come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of people.” How would you react? What would you do?
Disciple is a word we often misunderstand – like it is something limited to the original 12 men that Jesus chose and taught for 3 years of ministry. Those men were disciples, of course, but they weren’t the only ones. The meaning of the Greek word ìáèçôÞò (disciple) and its corresponding Hebrew term talmid. Talmid is used exclusively of one who gives himself (as a learner) to Scripture and to the religious tradition of Judaism. It is derived from lamid which has the idea of training as well as educating. The term occurs in the O. T. only once (1 Chron 25:8), where it is translated “scholar or pupil.” The term refers to musicians in David’s court. Since musicians learn by practice, or doing, as well as by study, we may conclude that talmid includes practice as well as theory. The term disciple placed much emphasis on doing. To be a talmid or a ìáèçôÞò was to learn by doing. Thus discipleship involved intellectual comprehension and practical application. However a difference exists between a disciple and a pupil. The disciple does more than receive instruction; he embraces the teaching of his teacher.
When Jesus walked the Earth, he was looking for disciples, and I believe he still wants people to choose to be his disciples today. Disciples drop their own priorities and follow Jesus and His teachings. Being a called to be a follower of Jesus doesn’t require you to know everything, to be perfect. In verse 19 Jesus doesn’t walk up to Andrew, Peter, James or John and say I am currently testing to see whether you will make good fishers for people. He simply chooses them, He is saying, ’I will show you, I will teach you how to fish for people’ and that is exactly what He does with us. He is constantly showing, constantly teaching, constantly transforming us, constantly helping us shine His light into the world. We are always growing and developing as Christians.
We have been called to be and make disciples. Sharing Jesus’ love, reflecting his light amongst your family, your friends, your work colleagues, your community doesn’t rely on you being the expert Christian. Rather it requires you to totally rely on Jesus in all situations of your life and to listen to Him. God. Someone has said that no one can estimate how much good could be done in our world if no one cared who got the credit. Be a disciple is about stop seeking credit for ourselves but given credit to Him who deservers it.