There are those who call Jesus ‘Teacher’, and that is good. I am glad that people believe that they can learn something from Jesus. There are those who call Jesus ‘Savior’, and that is also good. It is wonderful that some people have realized that they need Jesus as a defense attorney when Satan accuses them before God. There are those who call Him ‘Lord’, and that is very good. But there’s more to the story.
Some people call Him ‘Lord’ but do not do as He commands, and that is not good. (Matthew 7:22-27) There are people that, according to Jesus, can never be His disciples, and they are mentioned in Luke 14:26, 14:27, and 14:33.
“If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.”New King James Version, Luke 14:26
Jesus is not telling us to treat our family with hate. If He is, then He is contradicting the 5th Commandment about honoring our parents! No, He is telling us that the most important relationship in our lives is the one with Jesus. (See 1st Commandment, Exodus 20:XX) Your relationship with Him is far more important than your relationship with any of them, otherwise, you are not ready to become a disciple. When you learn to Love God, you will have enough love for all your family members within you. There is more here.
Those that want to hold on to their life as it is, that love their present situation so much that they refuse to let go, are not ready to be a disciple. Jesus wants you to mature spiritually, He wants you to develop into more than you are right now. He needs to form you, to shape you, to mold you into the potential he sees within you. That process is called pruning by gardeners, and training by coaches. It’s also painful at times, or at the least, not very pleasant.
Doing It “My Way”
“And whoever does not bear his cross and come after Me cannot be My disciple.”New King James Version, Luke 14:27
Those that are not willing to kill “the old man so that the new one can live” or are not “decreasing that He may increase” are not disciples either. If living your life the way that you want is more important to you than the living God, you are not ready to become a disciple. The Buddhists teach that we must kill our desires, which is close to what scripture refers to when it encourages us to say “not my will but Thine be done”. Our whole focus will change as we grow.
“So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.”New King James Version, Luke 14:33
Even Jesus said, “Not my will, but yours be done”. He struggled with it when times got tough for Him. He put God’s plan before His own. Glorify Him instead of yourself! Get off the throne of your life and let Him sit there. If you can not make your desires and plans secondary to His, you are not ready to become a disciple.
Imagine a member of a professional sports team that won’t work with their coach, but always demands what they want, ignoring what the coach prefers. They don’t get to stay on that team very long. All professional sports teams, college teams, and high school teams demand that players accept discipline and develop self-discipline. Disciples have discipline!
He’s The Best Boss
If He’s not your boss, you are not His. Now look at John 8:47
“He who is of God, hears God’s words; therefore you do not hear, because you are not of God.”New King James Version, John 8:47
God is not a taskmaster. He wants us to admit He exists, and then for us to want to get to know God better. To spend time with Him. To listen when He speaks. The above verse seems to make it clear that anyone that doesn’t listen for God to speak, does not belong to God. That’s why my motto on the Internet since 1998 has been:
“May you Hear, Recognize, Understand and Respond when God speaks to you.”
- Listen for His voice so that you can hear Him. He is talking, even now!
- Recognize His voice so it’s not someone else. The more time you spend together, the easier it is to recognize His voice!
- He is not a “God of confusion”. He wants you to understand Him, and do so very clearly. He will speak to you in the language you understand!
- Respond. He doesn’t always give orders, He also commends, critiques, and offers compassion, among other things.
How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? And how shall they preach unless they are sent?New King James Version, Romans 10:14-15
I find it interesting that the verse above does NOT say “read”. It says “hear”. Yes, hearing God speak to you either directly or indirectly through other people. He does also speak to you when you read scripture! It’s not so much the words on the page, as what He is saying to you that counts!
I assume that people that don’t belong to God can not be disciples, so we may be able to add to our list of non-disciples “those who do not hear God”.
Please comment and/or respond to what you heard inside of you as you read this! Let’s share!