To understand the written Word of God in its original context, we are to first look at the Hebrew and Greek meaning since the original text of the Bible was written in both Hebrew and Greek.
The Hebrew word for disciple is Talmid, meaning Student. Talmid shows the relationship between the Rabbi (Teacher or Master) and the disciple. Also, the Greek meaning is, one who engages in learning through instruction from another or who is Constantly Associated with someone who has a pedagogical reputation of a particular set of views, disciple, and adherent (Wikipedia). In Jesus’ days, the Talmid’s dedication to the teachings of his Rabbi was by giving up his entire life, EVERYTHING, just to be with his teacher/master. It was a life of Total Surrender to the teaching of the Rabbi.
In Luke 25-33, Jesus Christ laid down some conditions for being His disciple. The Message Bible renders the closing verse (verse 33) by saying, “Simply put, if you’re not willing to take what is dearest to you, whether plans or people, and kiss it good-bye, you can’t be My disciple.” This is a very powerful teaching from the world’s Greatest Teacher, Jesus, about being His disciples. After reading these passages, and the others mentioned in the remaining three Gospels, we see that discipleship is very costly. It is TOTAL Surrender to the teaching of Jesus Christ, our Rabbi. Not only did He teach His disciples this message, but He lived His own teaching as an example so that many of us today, are continually studying His teaching to be just like Him.
In My Outmost for His Highest, Oswald Chambers said, “You cannot make a disciple if you are not a disciple. Jesus wouldn’t have had His disciples if He Himself was not a Student of His Father. In John 5: 19 (AMP), Jesus answered them by saying, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself [of His own accord], unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever things the Father does, the Son [in His turn] also does in the same way”. Also, in verses 49 to 50, Jesus said, “For I have never spoken on My own initiative or authority, but the Father Himself who sent Me has given Me a commandment regarding what to say and what to speak. 50 I know that His commandment is eternal life. So the things I speak, I speak [in accordance with His exact instruction,] just as the Father has told Me.”
Therefore, to be disciples of Jesus, we are to follow and obey every letter of His teachings and do them. Counting the cost of following out the Master’s teachings requires us to come to an understanding that as His students (Talmids), we are identifying with Him as it reads in Galatians 2:20 that, “I have been crucified with Christ [that is, in Him I have shared His crucifixion]; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body I live by faith [by adhering to, relying on, and completely trusting] in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.” Yes, Jesus gave His life for us. So, what are we giving up for Him to be the disciples He has called us to be? If Paul, whose life was Saul before his encounter with Jesus can write this declaration in Galatians 2:20 about being crucified with Christ, what is our declaration for Jesus who has given up His life for us? We cannot continually be sitting under His teaching and be learners and not following what He has taught or is teaching us. As His students, we are to be imitators of God as Paul instructs us in Ephesians 5:1-2, “Therefore become imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father]; and walk continually in love [that is, value one another – practice empathy and compassion, unselfishly seeking the best for others], just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God [slain for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance.
We must be imitators of Christ, for we cannot make disciples if we ourselves are not disciples of Jesus Christ. Count The Cost of Discipleship, it is costly, but a sweet fragrance to God. Blessings my fellow Talmid of Jesus Christ.
February 27, 2022 – Pastor Gloria Butler