A disciple is one who follows a teacher. A Christian disciple’s agenda is aligning will with God’s plan.
Peter has just made his famous declaration of the fact that Jesus is truly the Messiah. Immediately after, the Lord predicts His imminent rejection, suffering, death, and resurrection. It is in the backdrop of His own impending suffering, and death that the Lord defines who His disciple is.
Jesus says, to those who follow Him wanting to be His disciple, the Lord says three specific things in this verse. He says to set aside, take up, and conform.
A disciple of Christ is one who sets aside or puts away his/her selfish interests or personal agendas. A disciple has only one agenda, and that is the agenda of Christ, the One he is following. And so, all that a disciple does and says is driven by what Christ wants, not what he/she wants.
A disciple is also one who takes up his cross and follows Jesus. The cross is a choice that every disciple makes and willingly takes up. Interestingly, the cross is not something that comes automatically nor is it thrust upon the disciple. A cross is not even a difficult person or situation that one finds uncomfortable, much as we often like to believe. The cross is a symbol of an end to self-will firmly replaced by His will. The choice to joyfully live each day, following the Master and His agenda.
A disciple’s agenda also includes being willing to conform to the example of Christ. The Amplified Bible describes a disciple as one who conforms to the way Christ lived, even suffered, and died. To conform is to reflect Christ increasingly, through life, there is no other way. And that is no easy call, and yet that is the call and commitment of everyone who chooses to be a disciple of Jesus Christ.
To say ‘no’ to things I desire
And ‘yes’ to those that He requires
Is to be a disciple, plain and simple
To say no to the ‘happiness’ of this world and life
As one lives each day through many a strife
Is to say yes Lord from a heart, trusting and humble
A disciple simply believes and follows
The voice of the Master through each day
Leaning only on Him and His Word, the Bible
A disciple knows faithful is the One who has called
Who will not leave alone, for He the Good Shepherd
But will lovingly lead each day, until safe beyond Jordan
And so, the question is, are you a disciple of Christ? Does your life reflect a disciple’s agenda above all else? In which area does your life need to closer align with God’s will?
- How does the concept of taking up my cross daily reflect in the decisions I make and the priorities I set?
- What specific areas of my life are still driven by my desires rather than Christ’s agenda?
- What practical steps can I take to deepen my dependence on Christ and His Word, in my daily life?