Believers or Disciples
I recently made a friend laugh when I said that Jesus had believers coming out of his ears. Its like these believers are ants crawling all over him. The reality is that Jesus has around 2,039 million people today who claim to be a Christian’s, that’s 33% of the world’s population. In many ways, if you were that way inclined, you could argue that we are winning. Islam adds up to 19% of the world and non-Religious making up 12%.
But the reality is were just not making the impact that we should be. Jesus has believers coming out of his ears and still the church is impotent.
The reality is many people claim to be believers but Jesus never asked for more believers but talked about ‘disciples’. In Matt 28 Jesus sends out his followers and tells them to make more disciples. Disciples making more disciples.
There is a significant difference between believers and disciples. Believers are those who have their golden ticket. They are saved and are now all set for the day they die and make their way on the heaven train. All these people are doing is sitting back, attending worship and waiting until the day they get to heaven.
But Jesus in Matt 28 he asked us to make disciples. A disciple was someone who wanted to follow his or her Rabbi so closely. They wanted to see how their Rabbi did it, they wanted to do the things their Rabbi did and they wanted to promote their Rabbi’s teaching and not their own. Disciples lived in the awareness of their own smallness, and they live in the awareness that things could be so different.
That there is another world possible in the midst of this one.
Disciples followed their Rabbi’s so closely that you never quite new where the Rabbi’s life started and where the disciple’s life ended.
Jesus has churches full of believers but what Jesus needs are disciples. People who are going to take his teaching to serve the last, least and the lost with their whole hearts seriously. People who are going to see themselves as Jesus’ tool in the world. The church isn’t an institution that holds people with religious views. Jesus is bigger than a religion, or all the trappings if a religion. The church is meant to be a counter cultural community asking the question what does a group of people look like in the world when they take Jesus’ command to make ‘disciples’ seriously. How would the church, before we even get to the world, be impacted if we took Jesus’ radical sermon on the mount seriously and we actually lived out his radical teaching?
Jesus never came to start a religion or an institution but a movement. A movement of people all choosing to be Jesus’ disciples. Leaving simple religious belief behind and join a movement of people all becoming disciples.
Until we move away from simply believing. Until we move away from religion and religious behaviour we will never be able to live the simple life of a disciple. The question to ask ourselves is what am I and what do I have in my hand.
Do I hold a ticket or a toolkit?
Because a disciple is someone who is worrying less about holding a ticket and worrying more about using his tool kit to beckon in Jesus’ kingdom.