So Jesus was saying to those Jews who had believed Him, “If you continue in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” John 8:31-32
In this one sentence, Jesus sets the tone for what it means to be a true discipleship of Jesus. It has to do with 1) faith/belief; 2) the Word of God; 3) Truth; and 4) Freedom.
Belief. A disciple is one who believes in what Jesus says as true. They are willing to defend and lay down their lives for the faith they have embraced. Reading about the martyrs says enough. The early Christians did not change their story when threatened with death; they persevered in saying Jesus did rise from the dead. Their belief shaped the way for all those who would come after them as believers in Jesus.
The Word. A disciple listens constantly to the Word of God. It requires us to be still at times to hear what God is saying. This is the attitude of one who sits at the feet and learns from his master. We must make a life-long habit of listening to God’s Word if we are to be taught by him. It is the only way to come to understand the whole truth of who Jesus is.
The Truth. Pilot asks this question, ‘what is truth?’. A disciple comes to discern what really matters; to know what they would give up their life for. This is the mirror of truth to which a disciple is called to walk.
Freedom. When we stand in the freedom of God, we are free. Free from fear (like the disciples who leave the Upper Room to proclaim the Good News). We become free from ourselves. In Christ, the old man dies away and he becomes a new creation. And, we gain freedom from other people. We lose interest in what other people think and learn to focus our care and thoughts on what Jesus thinks of what we do and say. This entrapment keeps many a christian from becoming a bold disciple. And lastly, we become free from the bondage of sin. Habitual sin keeps us prisoner to the sin which we hate. Turning our lives over to Christ, gives us the grace to break the chains of sin and begin again, to finally become the person we were created to be.
Let us walk then, in the path of discipleship. Believing with our whole heart that Jesus is our Lord; nourished by the Word of God; discerning what really matters to which we can pledge our life; and find our true freedom. It is here we will find our every joy and fulfillment. Let us start today.
May God bless you.