May 27, 2024

True Disciples of Jesus

“If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine” John 8:31


There’s a popular teaching that says a person becomes a Christian then grows into being a disciple. But biblically speaking, a Christian is a disciple of Christ. Remember, Jesus used the term disciple but never the word Christian. And the fact that He describes true disciples means there are also false disciples. So, what qualities do true disciples of Jesus possess?


Discipleship starts with belief. As He spoke these things, many came to believe in Him. So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him…” (v30). This is crucial because what we believe determines what we do. True disciples of Jesus remain faithful to His teachings (v31). So a disciple is a follower.


Throughout the Gospels we see two types of people listening to Jesus: the fascinated and the faithful. Many followed Jesus around because the miracles were fascinating to watch. But these people weren’t true disciples. You see, those who were fascinated merely heard His words, while the faithful sought to heed His words. True disciples of Jesus faithfully serve Him as Lord and Master of their lives.


This isn’t something we can do by ourselves. Jesus is talking about a life that’s impossible without Him. We cannot consistently live like the Bible tells us to live without yielding control to the Holy Spirit. That kind of trust is driven by one quality—love. “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (John 14:15). We obey out of love; and we live securely in His love.


So, if you profess to be a Christian then Jesus expects you to also be His disciple. That not only means becoming more familiar with Him but becoming more like Him each day. We do this by constantly learning what the Bible says and receiving its direction and instruction. We also get to know Him better through daily experience; by trusting Him with each circumstance we face.


There’s so much more to the Christian life than waiting for Heaven. True disciples of Jesus live according to His Word in the here and now. What teachings of the Bible have you heard but not heeded? Being a genuine follower of Jesus requires diligence and self-discipline. But when you live in the truth of God’s Word, you also live in His freedom! “and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free” (v32).