The Meaning of Discipleship

by Mike Ratliff

32 “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:32-33 NASB) 

I really don’t keep up with Contemporary Christian music. Before last week I had never heard of Michael Gungor. However, he must have a large following and must sell a lot of “product” because after he revealed his “personal theology” in some interviews it suddenly became a big deal. Here is a link from my friend Amy Spreeman’s web page and radio show about this. My input on this has been that this is nothing new. What I am reading from Michael Gungor is the same thing we have been hearing from the Emergent camp for years. Also, those defending him are using the same techniques and arguments trying to cast all who disagree with him as “hick Fundamentalists” or something along those lines. Again, this is nothing new. What we must never lose sight of here is the true nature of Christian Discipleship, that is, what it is and what is not.

24 “ A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a slave above his master. 25 It is enough for the disciple that he become like his teacher, and the slave like his master. If they have called the head of the house Beelzebul, how much more will they malign the members of his household! (Matthew 10:24-25 NASB)

What is Jesus talking about here? If one is to be a disciple of the Lord Jesus he or she is not called to be more than Him or to believe differently than Him, but rather we are to become like Him. Also, those who have a problem with the real Jesus will have a problem with His true disciples? Why? They are like Him. Look also at what they do. They malign His disciples just as they maligned Him.

26 “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows. (Matthew 10:26-31 NASB)

Jesus’ true disciples are to respond to the hostility of the world and that of “false christians” by not fearing them. What is our motivation for standing firm and not fearing them? God knows all things. What evil things they do will be revealed. What righteous things our Lord’s disciples do will be revealed. Notice also that being right with our Lord is no protection against experiencing persecution. However, those who persecute and do not repent and believe in this age will experience judgment in the next age in hell. The promise is that our Lord’s disciples are valuable and loved by Him and their eternal salvation is eternally secure no matter what evil men do to them in this age.

32 “Therefore everyone who confesses Me before men, I will also confess him before My Father who is in heaven. 33 But whoever denies Me before men, I will also deny him before My Father who is in heaven. (Matthew 10:32-33 NASB)

What is our Lord saying here? Those who deny our Lord in this age like Michael Gungor did in the interview by doubting His deity for whatever motivation are revealing their disingenuousness. Therefore, since they are not true disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ they will hear our Lord deny them before the Father (Matthew 7:21-23). However, genuine disciples of our Lord Jesus will remain faithful no matter the pressure. They will not cave to the pressure to be “Politically Correct” or answer in compromising ways in interviews in order to “remain popular in order to stay marketable.” No, genuine disciples of our Lord Jesus put His glory first. They do not deny Him before men even if it costs them in this age.

34 “ Do not think that I came to bring peace on the earth; I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I came to set A man against his father, and A daughter against her mother, and A daughter- in- law against her mother- in- law; 36 and A man’s enemies will be the members of his household. 37 “ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me; and he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. 38 And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. 39 He who has found his life will lose it, and he who has lost his life for My sake will find it. (Matthew 10:34-39 NASB)

Genuine disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ understand that this world is not their home. This age is only temporary and the age to come is where their blessed home awaits. Therefore, their Lord comes before all. Look at the relationships in this list our Lord gave. We are to give our Lord priority over everyone, no exceptions. We are to take up our own crosses and follow after our Lord. If we do not die to self and live for Him then we are not worthy of Him. In doing this we have found true life. However, those who seek this life in this age above all will lose true life revealing their disingenuousness. Those who find true life, eternal life, lose their life here in the Lord.

Soli Deo Gloria!

8 thoughts on “The Meaning of Discipleship

  1. It’s interesting how ‘some’ folk try to impress others by talking about their beliefs without really understanding them.This is Satan in action, spreading lies and half truths like corn meal on a pond. If you’ve never thrown a handful, you will see the corn meal spread over an unexpectedly wide area.

    As far as Disciples are concerned, if you look to the Jewish definition, they are Learners that sit at the feet on a Sage, Rabbi, or a Rev. They listen, memorizing everything the Sage says. They don’t start spouting off until they are ALLOWED by their Sage, they strive to be LIKE their Sage.

    In our case, who is our Sage? What is He teaching us? My Sage is not a man or musician but the Holy Spirit who leads me through the Bible, step by step. Jesus did thus with the twelve, and He will do it with you and I.

    Pray that Michael Gungor is taken aside and taught the Truth and Awakened to God. Satan cannot be allowed to win. WE must be on our guard and willing to say Truth because we are commanded to do so!


  2. Matthew 10:34-39. Big reaction to those Scriptures just now! Part of my having a ball on WordPress again today. Thank you Mike. Thank You Father!


  3. Amen!!!

    We must follow Him regardless of the cost, even death, etc. About half of the bible atests to that necessity. I have run into so many ‘Christians’ who think it’s a suggestion. No, it’s not.

    There is a whole spiritual dimension to this, in so many ways it’s like we must do the opposite of what the flesh wants if we are to please God. But, He gives us the strength to do just that, if we obey Him and submit to His will. We must surrender or it won’t be possible, we can’t do it in our own strength.

    Blessings to you!


Comments are closed.