Being a disciple of God and Jesus Christ, means to continually be a student; and we will always have something to learn from them.
[Darris McNeely] Do you think of yourself as a disciple? Sometimes we think of a disciple as, in the Bible, one of the 12 that Jesus called and were with Him during His ministry, or among those that followed Him around Galilee and other places listening to His teaching. Certainly, they were disciples.
But when you understand the Word and how it is used in scripture, we're all disciples certainly of Jesus if we're obeying him and learning as we study the Bible, we're disciples of Jesus in that way. The word disciple really means a student. One who's learning from a teacher, from a master teacher.
You go through an apprentice program, let's say, to learn plumbing, electricity, you're in an apprentice role until you pass and get your license. And then you are a master plumber or electrician. We go through years and years of study in school, and in one sense when you think about it we're always students.
Therefore, we're always disciples. When it comes to being a disciple of God, a follower of God, we're always in that role and must always remember that. There's a lesson from one of the stories in the Old Testament that I've been reading through, and it speaks to this idea of a disciple, but also, what it really does take to be a disciple. It's more than just a profession of obedience, or faith, or whatever. It requires a commitment.
There's a story of Elisha, the Prophet. When he was called and set apart by Elijah, who becomes his mentor, who becomes his teacher. The story is told in 1 Kings 19:19 1 Kings 19:19So he departed there, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle on him.
American King James Version×, beginning in verse 19, where after Elijah has been told by God, "You're going to go and anoint Elisha and he's gonna be your successor."
So, what happens is, it says, "Elijah went from there and he found Elisha, who was the son of Shaphat. Elisha was plowing with 12 yoke of oxen. He was a farmer and Elisha Himself was driving the 12th pair. Elijah went up to him and threw his cloak around him." The cloak was a symbol of Elijah's authority, and basically, that's how he was drafting Elisha into the work of being an apprentice prophet, a disciple to the prophet Elijah.
And so here's what happened at this point, and this is the lesson for us to learn, for us as disciples today. "Elisha then left his oxen and ran after Elijah." From that moment, he was all in. Total commitment. "He left his oxen, ran after Elijah. He did say, 'Let me kiss my father and mother and say goodbye, and then I'll come with you.' To which Elijah said, 'Well, go back, what have I done to you?'"
In other words, "You better make that quick, get it done, but you got a new job now and that is to follow me." "So, Elisha left and went back, he took his yoke of oxen and he slaughtered them." It's like having a big farm sale, you sell all of your tractors, your implements, everything because you're not going to plant corn anymore.
And you sell everything. "Elisha burned the plowing equipment to cook, he took his yoke of oxen and he killed them." Had a big roast, a big, big barbeque. "And he gave it all to the people and they ate, and then he set out to follow Elijah and became his attendant." Which is another way of saying he became his disciple.
Elisha was all in, there was no turning back. After he had slaughtered his herd, sold his implements, eaten everything and the prophets, in other words, he now had to follow completely Elijah, which he did, and the story goes on to show that. That's what it takes to be a disciple. And that's the big lesson for you and I today.
It takes a total commitment, we have to be all in. We can't go back, we can't have, in a sense, a plan B when it comes to obeying God, following Jesus Christ as His disciple, committing ourselves to a life-long discipleship, and learning from God, from Christ, about the kingdom of God, about righteousness and God's way of life, and preparing for that future that God has for us, takes a total commitment.
Anything short of that, and we will be that much less of a disciple and suffer the problems and some of the pitfalls that can come as a result. Elisha's case gives us a very, very important lesson of what it means to be a disciple. We have to be all in. It takes total commitment.
That's "BT Daily," join us next time.