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Ahem. Follow along.
When Christ was finna head on out, He said, “Make disciples of all the nations and teach them to obey all the things I taught you” (Matthew 28:19-20, paraphrased).
A disciple is first a learner, who through deep study and questioning and time spent closely following a Master Teacher determines that they too want to follow “THE WAY” this person has chosen—that this person’s message is THE TRUTH. I’ll give you an example: Before He died on the cross everybody was referring to Jesus has Rabbi or teacher, which is kind a generic honorific. You know, anybody could get it if you were super skillful at parlaying the law. But In John 20:16, after Christ is risen and Mary the Magdalene meets Him in the garden, she calls him Rabbouni, or MY Teacher. That means that she had become fully persuaded that Jesus was THE WAY, THE TRUTH, and THE LIFE, and that nobody was gonna get between her and what she believed. At that point, she was letting Christ know she 10 toes down for the gospel, okay?
And this is where it starts, right? Discipleship begins with LEARNING the teachings so well that you take ownership of them—that you become a zealot, fanatical, uncompromising, unreproachable, and unrepentant about what you believe. You begin to embody the teachings AND THE TEACHER. You move like the person who taught you. And thats wild to many because we quick to say, “I ain’t Jesus”—but that’s exactly what discipleship leads to—the student BECOMES the master. And Jesus told you this. In John 14:12, He said, “NO CAP: I’m finna go back home, my guys. But if you really BELIEVE I’m the Savior, you finna do everything I been doing and then some on my behalf.” (My Hood Translation hits shelves…one day. Who knows but God?)
But first. You must become a REAL STRAIGHT UP DISCIPLE. Not the sugary baby Saint stop right here and wait for Jesus to drag you along on every stop along the way. Discipleship means picking up your personal cross, and FOLLOWING. But you won’t do that until you be like Paul: no matter the suffering, you should be able to say, “I know in whom I have believed.” Like the 3 Hebrew boys, “whether He come get us or not, we believe God regardless. So it’s whatever.” Like Job, “Though He slay me, it’s the LORD for me.” Like Jesus, “I belong to Abba. I’m in Him, and He’s in Me. When you see Me, you see Him. All day every day. It’s His will or no will, you feel Me. Get into it.”
This is the first layer of discipline. To immerse yourself in the study of a topic until you become one with it. Until you love it more than you love anything else that is offered to you. That love of a discipline is what makes you able to take the next wave of discipline—the correction. The realignment. The refocusing. The purification. The stripping. The chastening. The pruning.
If you aren’t all in with the One handing out the discipline, you will walk away from a process designed to perfect you, ending up offended and incomplete, despising discipline, and digging in your heels further into the will of your own flesh.
That ain’t it.
I challenge you as I challenge myself to spend time in communion with the Holy Spirit so He can teach you all things about Jesus Christ. This the season out of all the seasons to be FULLY PERSUADED about your Lord and Savior, so that you can be transformed in your thinking, knowing what is that Good and perfect and acceptable will of the Father. Cuz when you have been FULLY CONVERTED, you can help your brothers and sisters become fully persuaded, too.
This is the work of the Him who sent us. This is what it means to Matthew 28:19-20.