10:1. That is the ratio between the number of times Jesus said “follow me” in the Gospels to the occasions He said, “believe in me.” Following of course presumes belief, but discipleship authenticates our faith (e.g. Jn 8:12, 31; 10:27; 13:35). It forms part of the fruit of faith. It is how we come to know Jesus more deeply. It is the mission of the Church to make disciples (Mt 28:19), or “to turn people into fully devoted, mature followers of Christ.” “Christianity without discipleship is always Christianity without Christ,” said Dietrich Bonhoeffer, and that means it is not Christianity at all. Billy Graham said, “Salvation is free, but discipleship costs everything we have.” DISCIPLESHIP, both becoming a follower and the means of maturing as a follower of Jesus, is our 2019 theme (Jer 17:7–8a). Jesus said some pretty radical things about following Him (c.f. Mt 8:22; 16:24; 19:21). For instance He said, “Whoever does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me.” (Mt 10:38). Whilst the cost of discipleship may be high (perhaps even our lives), Jesus promised it is worth it (Mt 19:27), especially when compared to the cost of non-discipleship. So with expectancy and God as our helper let us prepare for the great adventure of making and maturing disciples in 2019!
The Lord’s Sweetest Blessings,