Monday, October 31, 2005

Mature Zealots ?

In Chapter two Focus on The Fundamentals of Growing True Disciples by George Barna we are challenged to be zealots. George Barna states correctly that; "In the original biblical text, the term used for disciple refers to someone who is a learner or follower who serves as an apprentice under the tutelage of a master." "Discipleship is becoming a complete and competent follower of Jesus Christ." Barna goes on to talk about the intentional training of those who voluntarily submit to the Lordship of Christ', and compares how we understand followers today and in Jesus day.

His conclusion is an eye opener and a challenge to what we understand today. "Discipleship, in other words is about being and reproducing spiritually mature zealots for Christ." I want to focus on the next thought Barna introduces to us at this point. 'We lack an understanding of the circumstance in which the disciples were developed and therefore we minimize the investment required to be a follower of Jesus Christ.' (My paraphase).

This was not a group who were looking for the latest hot prophet and went down to see him do his thing. It was a life changing, difficult and sacrificial thing to follow Jesus. It required great courage to leave what they had been taught for hours on end as Jewish boys growing up and to give it all up (family, reputation, all they had been taught since they began to hear, talk and learn) to follow Him.

The Jewish or Hebrew concept on learning did not separate knowing and doing. If you claimed to believe something everyone knew it because you lived accordingly. If you believed that Jesus was Messiah or Savior of all Israel, you had to completely submit to all He taught by word and deed. There was no turning back!

Barna states: "On the basis of teaching, training, experiences, relationships and accountability, a disciple becomes transformed into the likeness of Jesus." It is from this that these spiritually mature Zealots arise.

Today we have a lot of people who are following Jesus but who have not been taught, who have not had modeled for them and who do not understand what is required to become a real learner and follower of Jesus on His terms. It is because of this 'lack' of understanding and 'lack' of mature models that many believers are not enjoying their salvation and all that comes with it.

There is a price to be paid, effort to be expended and time to be invested if we are to come into that place of becoming 'Mature Zealots' for Christ.

Yes, salvation is by Grace alone! But Lordship, requires that we come into the tutelage and apprenticeship of the Jesus. This requires that we voluntarily "on the basis of teaching, training, experiences, relationships and accountability, become transformed into the likeness of Jesus." This process requires death to our old nature's ways and that we become alive to God's ways. Our worldview must change, our priorities must change, and the way we use our time, money and resources must change until we can truly say, 'His priorities are my priorities.'

Perhaps, you have read this article and that word Zealots is bothering you. Remember Mature Zealots turned the world upside down, they were also know as Disciples of Jesus Christ!

His invitation to you and I is still open today. He still desires Real Disciples!


Christian Prophet said...

Will the second coming of Jesus Christ be announced on an Internet blog site? See Holy Inheritance blog:

EKENYERENGOZI Michael Chima said...

Well, I pray in the Almighty name of our Messiah Jesus Christ, that may I not be left behind when he comes to see the news of the Rapture on the Internet or TV. Because only those left behind after the Rapture will see the news on the Internet and TV.

Equipper said...

Although the 2nd coming is fortold in scripture, it also says we are to be doing the Fathers business just as Jesus did. Lets focus on God's work in our lives today and in our world. The 2nd coming will occur when God is ready to do it. We must remember to be focused on What Jesus is doing now not later!