Find the Treasure of Being a Disciple

by | Jul 22, 2014 | Woman

Some time ago, a California woman, Teri Horton, bought an abstract painting from a junk store for $5. Ten years later she discovered that the “junk” she purchased was possibly an original Jackson Pollock painting that could be worth more than $10 million.

Let’s project our imaginations into the future and suppose that Ms. Horton has been paid $10 million for the painting that cost her $5. Imagine that she is sitting in a palatial mansion the money has afforded her. She is dripping in jewels and draped in fine designer clothing, none of which she could have purchased previously.

If I were to ask her, “What did that Jackson Pollock painting cost you,” how do you think she would answer that question?

I imagine she would say: “Cost me? It cost me nothing. It gained me $10 million and afforded me everything I own.”

The initial cost of the painting was swallowed up in the benefit it obtained. The expenditure showed up on the profit side of the balance sheet.

The same holds true in other areas. When the profit far outweighs the investment, we call it gain.

How We Gain Christ

Jesus challenged those who would be His disciples first to count the cost. He said: “Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it? For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish'” (Luke 14:28-30, NIV).

Christ made it clear that discipleship would cost a person everything. But He also challenged those who sought to be His disciples to consider the reward.

Jesus said: “If you hold to My teaching, you are really My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free” (John 8:31-32).

In the book of Philippians, Paul acknowledged that nothing was of greater worth to him than knowing God. He wrote: “But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith” (Phil. 3:7-9).

Here the apostle is saying that he gave up everything he valued because compared to knowing Christ Jesus, everything else was worthless. All he valued apart from Christ was less than nothing.

If we could ask Paul, “What did radical discipleship cost you?” I believe he would answer: “Cost me? It cost me nothing and gained me everything.”

The Meaning of ‘Follow Me’

In calling men to discipleship, Jesus framed His invitation in this way: “Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light” (Matt. 11:28-30).

Jesus often was referred to in the gospels as “Rabbi.” Historically, the title was conferred on a scholar or learned expositor of the Scriptures. His job was to study, learn and teach.

In Jesus’ day there were several schools of rabbinical thought. They distinguished themselves by the manner in which they interpreted the Torah (the books of Moses) and the Talmud (writings, laws and commentaries on the Mosaic law). These various schools, according to A.T. Robertson’s Word Pictures in the New Testament (Broadman & Holman), were called “yokes.”

To become a disciple of one rabbi or another was to take that particular rabbi’s yoke upon your neck. Notice how Peter uses the word yoke in Acts 15:10 and how Paul used it in Galatians 5:1.

In each case they are referring to a branch of teaching or biblical interpretation. It was a term commonly employed in this way. When Jesus’ contemporaries heard Him use these words, there was no confusion about what He meant.

“Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me,” Jesus said (emphasis added). A disciple did not learn about his rabbi; he learned from his rabbi.

A disciple was not a casual learner but one who left everything else in order to follow his rabbi day and night. Therefore, he gained far more than knowledge from his rabbi; he absorbed his rabbi’s life.

A disciple learned a way of thinking and living from his rabbi. He listened to him. He discussed and debated with him. He ate as his rabbi ate, slept as he slept and adopted his rabbi’s phrases and speech patterns. As much as possible, the rabbi reproduced himself in the disciple.

From the time he was a young teenager until the age of 30, the disciple was the pupil of a rabbi. Then when the disciple became a rabbi, he began to teach, using the words of his rabbi and reflecting his teacher’s heart and life.

The disciple-turned-rabbi might say: “The words I speak are not my words, they are the words of my rabbi.” But that rabbi’s rabbi had a rabbi himself, and no rabbi spoke on his own authority. Rather, he might say to his disciples, “Everything my rabbi has taught me, I am making known to you.”

Jesus’ Rabbinical Model

Jesus was and is an altogether different kind of rabbi, so being His disciple—taking His yoke upon you—is a call like no other. When Jesus taught and healed, the religious leaders challenged Him by asking Him by what authority He did such things.

Matthew 21:23 states, “Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while He was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to Him. ‘By what authority are You doing these things?’ they asked. ‘And who gave You this authority?'”

They were asking Him, “Who is Your rabbi? Whose yoke do You wear?” The aspect of Jesus’ teaching and personality that first caught the crowds’ attention was that He taught as one who had authority (Matt. 7:28-29).

Many times, as in the encounter recorded in Matthew 21:23-27, when the scholars and leaders of the day challenged Jesus by questioning His credentials, He used the typical rabbinical method for answering a question: He responded with a question of His own.

“Jesus replied: ‘I will also ask you one question. If you answer Me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John’s baptism—where did it come from? Was it from heaven or from men?'”

The only reasonable and logical answer to His question would have led His detractors to the conclusion that Jesus’ authority came from His rabbi—Yahweh. Other times Jesus spoke more forthrightly claiming that His teaching came from Yahweh.

In the book of John, Jesus said: “I do nothing on My own but speak just what the Father has taught Me” (John 8:28). Moreover, He stated: “When a man believes in Me, he does not believe in Me only, but in the one who sent Me. When he looks at Me, he sees the one who sent Me” (John 12:44-45).

In saying to His disciples, “These words you hear are not My own; they belong to the Father who sent Me” (John 14:24), Jesus’ audience would have understood Him to mean: “My rabbi is Yahweh, and Yahweh is My Father.”

An earthly rabbi did all he could to reproduce his image in the lives of his disciples, but it was an impossible task. Whenever a prominent rabbi died, having left behind his writings that proclaimed his thoughts, arguments would break out among his disciples based on a new question and his disciples would debate among themselves, wondering how the rabbi would have responded.

Entirely new schools would emerge from these debates, with one disciple guessing this and another disciple supposing that. No one knew for sure because the rabbi was no longer alive.

But your Rabbi, dear disciple, is able to do what an earthly rabbi could not. He lives in you. He is not dead. He is alive, and He is alive in you.

You do not have to ask, “What would Jesus do if He were here?” Your Rabbi is here. He is pouring His life into you, through you, from you.

Your Rabbi is continually recreating you into His image from the inside out. He is changing you into His likeness from one degree of glory to the next (2 Cor. 3:18).

The Call Is Radical

Answering the call of Christ requires that you empty yourself of everything you have in order to be His disciple. Once you have done so, He will fill you with everything He has.

What does your Rabbi have to give you? Hear His words: “All that belongs to the Father is Mine” (John 16:15). Once you have counted the cost, then count the reward.

Since the age of 20, I have passionately pursued a present-tense relationship with the living and indwelling Jesus. I have one goal for every moment I live: to be completely and utterly abandoned to Him.

I don’t know where that goal will lead me, but wherever it leads, that is where I’m going. People often ask me, “What is your five-year plan?” My answer: “To be completely and utterly abandoned to Him.”

Long ago I learned that following the Ruler instead of the rules would take me down paths I could not have imagined. Every day I traverse new terrain, desperately dependent upon the moment-by-moment guidance of Jesus because He is leading me into new territory. He reminds me that my eyes must be fastened on Him: “Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before” (Josh. 3:4).

CHARISMA NEWSLETTERS

Stay up-to-date with current issues, Christian teachings, entertainment news, videos & more.

The latest breaking Christian news you need to know about as soon as it happens.

Prophetic messages from respected leaders & news of how God is moving throughout the world. 


MORE FROM CHARISMA

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Is He a God of Wrath or a God of Love?

Do you think the God of the Old Testament is a God of wrath, and the God of the New Testament is a God of love? The truth is that God is the same throughout the entire Bible. His wrath and His love are revealed in both the Old and the New Testaments. So why, then, did...

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

How You Can Have a Perfect Heart

Your heart is the most important part of you. It’s not only a physical organ that keeps your blood pumping, but when the Bible refers to the heart, it’s talking about who you really are. Each person has an inner and an outer life. There’s the person we show to...

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

How the FBI Raid on Mar-a-Lago Is Spiritual Warfare

It's been a few days since the FBI raided President Donald Trump's home in Mar-a-Lago, and the Biden Administration has yet to explain to the American people why they did what's never been done in American history—the government raiding the home of a former president....

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

How the Holy Spirit Can Restore Your True Sanity

Most of my life I tried to avoid one thing—being crazy or insane. When I was growing up my mother had emotional issues and saw a psychiatrist regularly. She was on medication which only seemed to make her mood swings worse. She had high highs, and low lows. When I...

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

Israel Prophecy: The Enemy is Stirring an Unimaginable Conflict

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KJFFqAgykmU A cease-fire between Israel and Palestinian militants took effect late Sunday in a bid to end nearly three days of violence that killed dozens of Palestinians and disrupted the lives of hundreds of thousands of Israelis,...

RECENT ARTICLES

Why Partial Obedience to God is Disobedience

My husband had a saying for our children growing up. “Partial obedience is disobedience.” He wanted them to understand that doing half the plan would not get them the full reward. Another reminder...
Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

Kingdom Economics: Why is America Declining Spiritually So Quickly?

The Bureau of Labor Statistics released a surprisingly strong July Employment Report.  Total nonfarm employment was 528K (398K previously, 250K expected).  Private nonfarm employment was 471K (404K previously, 230K expected). The headline unemployment rate dropped to...

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

Can You Discern Spiritual Wind?

The wind is a funny thing. We do not know where it comes from nor where it goes. We cannot see it, but we can see and feel its effects. Wind can be gentle and refreshing, cold or hot, strong, and dangerous, and everything in between. When the wind blows, we must...

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

Messianic Rabbi: He That Has an Eye, Let Him Hear

It is interesting that, as a Messianic rabbi the question I am asked most often by Christians is if I believe that they as Christians have to celebrate, or observe, the biblical Holy Days. They are usually asking about those days listed in Leviticus 23: Shabbat, Yom...

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

How the Holy Spirit Is Preparing America

As the crackdown against Christianity in America grows, it is a cycle believers have seen before. While no one celebrates their religious freedom coming under attack, God has used this persecution to great effect throughout history. Over the centuries, there have been...

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Dealing Effectively with the Dynamics of Change

Change can be challenging. Some people look forward to change and embrace it. Some people dread change and try to avoid it. Since change is inevitable, so here are some of the dynamics surrounding change and the specific strategies to deal with change more...

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

God’s Holy Interruption Is Coming Soon

This past weekend I preached at The Roads Church, a charismatic congregation located in the tiny town of Norris City, Illinois. Located amid cornfields, the population is only 1,325, but almost that many people visit the church on weekends. They come from all over...

Pin It on Pinterest

[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]
[class^="wpforms-"]