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Discipleship is one of the key aspects of the Christian life. It is part of a progressive and productive relationship with God which is not dependent on our intellect, looks, strength, energy or stature; it is dependent on God’s love and grace and our response to His call. Matt 28:19 (part of the ‘Great Commission’) looks at how, as disciples of Jesus, we are all called to make disciples of others. Disciples are people chosen by Christ from everyday backgrounds and ordinary jobs to follow Him.
So often, we have wrong ideas about what it means to be a disciple of Christ. Mark 9:33-37 reminds us that greatness is not about money or power or strength; Jesus reminds us that the first must be last and that the little child is welcomed by Him. Discipleship is not about being a ‘backseat driver’, nor is it about pushing ourselves to the forefront, as clearly some of His early disciples wanted to. We have to accept that God’s way of doing things is not the same as ours and that if we want to succeed in God’s kingdom, we must be prepared to serve humbly.
Servanthood is the mark of a disciple (see John 13:1-17). Spiritual power comes with servanthood and humility. Jesus Himself came not to be served but to serve, and our discipleship has to be based on servanthood and submission.