A Disciple Learns From the Master
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By Derek Gentle
1. Three Marks of a Learner
1.1 Time with the Master
"Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." Matthew 16:24
Jesus said that discipleship would involve following Him. In His days on earth the custom was for a a person who was a disciple of another to literally folow the theacher everywhere. It looked liike interns following a specialist in a teaching hospital. They would live in the same house as the teacher, run errands for him, and serve as something like an apprentice. The idea was to have the disciples there for the teachable moment, to move from real life experience to Scripture. We do not walk with Jesus in a tangible way, but spiritually we can refer all of life to Him, to "practice the presence of God" as it has been put.
1.2 A Teachable Spirit Before the Master
"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." Matthew 11:29
The word for learn in this passsageis the same word from which we get disciple. A disciple is by definition a learner. Notice the voluntary nature of this learning: "Take My yoke upon you" - it is a deliberate act. Notice that if you seek to learn from Christ, He will not chide you or overwhelm you - "For I am gentle and lowly in heart".
1.3 Continuing to Hear the Master
"Then Jesus said to those Jews who believed Him, "If you abide in My word, you are My disciples indeed." John 8:31
The word to abide has been translated, to "continue". When you burn soemthing cooking, that black stuff you have to scrape out of the pot, abides there. We need to abide in the Word like that. It means that we continue to read and study His word. It means that we continue to obey His word. To do so is proof of our discipleship.
2. Five Aspects of Christ's Teaching
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2.1 He Trains Us in Christian Disciplines
"Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, "Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.'" Luke 11:1
No one can teach you to pray better than Jesus. No one can teach you to witness or teach or anything in Christian living or service than Jesus. Preachers have a saying about those who do not have the formal training, but who have learned this way, "He has been to bedside seminary".
2.2 He Explains His Word to Us
"Without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples." Mark 4:33-34
"When they were alone" - good thing shappen when we are alone with Jesus. He does not share His best secrets with the world at large. he shares them with His disciples. He explained - "expounded" in the King James version: How many times have you been reading your Bible and the words leaped off of the page and God spoke to you? How many times have you read a passage for the umpteenth time and suddendly for the first time the light came on? Jesus is the best Bible teacher you will ever learn under.
2.3 He Commands Us to Do What He Expects
"Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ." Matthew 16:20
Here thedisciple has just confessed the Messiahship of Jesus. It is not time for the world to know, the cross remains ahead, so Jesus tell them not tell anyone yet. That was His directions for their specific life situation. I looked at all the various tiems this word is used inthe synoptic gospels and almost without exception, it is used to describe Jesus giving speciific directions for specific life situations. The disciple lives undert he directing, guiding hand of Christ.
2.4 He Shows Us Things Which Are Hidden
"From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem, and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day." Matthew 16:21
Jesus give His disciples insights into life which the unbelieving world around them cannot see.
2.5 He Rebukes Us When We Are Off Track
"But when He had turned around and looked at His disciples, He rebuked Peter, saying, "Get behind Me, Satan! For you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men." Mark 8:33
Robertson describes the rebuke in this passage as withering. We have all been here. We are off track spiritually. We are not where we need to be in our walk with God, we have fallen into sin - and Jesus gets on us. Like the fellow who told how God had spoken to him and was then asked if it was in an audible voice; "Oh, no, it was much louder than that!" was his reply.