A Disciple is One Who Has a Relationship with the Master

By Derek Gentle

We have a relationship with:

1. Those with Whom We Spend Time

"Then He appointed twelve, that they might be with Him and that He might send them out to preach" Mark 3:14

Jesus selected twelve for the very purpose of giving them the opportunity of spendinging time together with Him. 

2. Those with Whom We Eat 

"Wherever he goes in, say to the master of the house, `The Teacher says, "Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?"' Mark 14:14 

"Jesus said to them, 'Come and eat breakfast.' Yet none of the disciples dared ask Him, "Who are You?" ----knowing that it was the Lord." John 21:12 

We don't eat with just anyone.  We are usually pretty selective about who eat with.  Holiday meals are a good example.  Those meals are reserved for those with whom we have the closest relationships.

3. Those with Whom We Share Confidential Information 

"And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?" He answered and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given.   Matthew 13:10-11 

"But without a parable He did not speak to them. And when they were alone, He explained all things to His disciples."   Mark 4:34 

"Simon Peter answered and said, "You are the Christ, the Son of the living God. Jesus answered and said to him, "Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven.. . Then He commanded His disciples that they should tell no one that He was Jesus the Christ." 

Matthew 16:16-17, 20 
Say you interview for a new job.  You are not going to tell your boss.  But you will, perhaps, tell one trusted friend.  In the same way, Jesus tells certain things only to those who are most intimate with Him.

4. Those We Want with Us in Times of Trouble 

"Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me."   Matthew 26:38 

When there is a faimily crisis oft-spoken words are, "Has so and so been called yet?"   "Does Ralph know?"   Family and friends gather at one home to be together.  Jesus had these same feelings as He anticipated His passion.  He wanted His disciples with Him.

5. Those We Tell Our Big News First 

"And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you. . . Then Jesus said to them, 'Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me."    Matthew 28:7, 10 

Who do you run to with big news?  You get the promotion, the first grandchild is born... who do you tell?  When Jesus rose from the dead, the first people He wanted to know were His disciples.

6. Those We Claim Before Others 

"And He stretched out His hand toward His disciples and said, "Here are My mother and My brothers!"   Matthew 12:49 
When we have a distant relative and he or she has done well, they may be a third cousin twice removed, but we claim them.  If they are in prison, they are, of course, a very distant relative.  When Jesus' family had decided that perhaps He had gone off the deep end, He was told that his mother and brothers were there to take Him home.  He replied that those who have a walk with Him are the ones closest to Him, that they are His "family".  Jesus claims those people.

7. Those Whose Influence Rubs Off on Us 

"Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were uneducated and untrained men, they marveled. And they realized that they had been with Jesus." Acts 4:13 

Here is what this message all boils down to.  Discipleship is first and foremost about having a relationship with Jesus Christ.  This relationship is transformational. Being around Jesus changes us. Norman Douty writes:

    "Don't try to be like Him, just look at Him.  Just be occupied with Him.  Forget about trying to be like Him. Instead of letting that fill your heart and mind, let Him fill it.  Just behold Him, look upon Him through the Word.  Come to the Word for one purpose and that is to meet the Lord.  Not to get your mind crammed full of sacred things about the the sacred Word, but come to it to meet the Lord."
    Quoted in Miles Stanfords' Green Letters

We see here in Acts that when a bunch of uneducated fishermen were brought up before the authorities that they were able to handle themselves and stand for Christ impressively.  Even their persecutors could tell that it was the time they had spent with Jesus which had made the difference.