Here’s a question to chew over?
When did Jesus’ first followers become ‘Christians’?
I’m talking about folks like Peter, James, John, Matthew, Mary, Martha, and many others whose stories are told in the Gospel accounts.
Just think about it for a second!
Each of them has a personal encounter with Christ where He invites them to follow Him. I shared recently about some of those encounters HERE. In each story, they say “yes” to the invitation and an incredible, life-changing journey with Jesus begins.
Now, remember! When they said yes, they didn’t really know who Jesus was.
They didn’t know He was God come to save them.
They didn’t know He was going to die on the cross.
They didn’t know He would be raised to resurrection life on the third day.
They didn’t know He would return to Heaven and send the Holy Spirit to fill them with God’s power to change the world.
They knew very little.
But they were prepared to go on a journey of discovery with Jesus, and see where it led.
More importantly, Jesus was committed to going on a journey with them, trusting that over the months and years that followed their eyes, minds and hearts would become open to who He is, and His divine purpose in the world.
So when did those first followers become Christians? To put it another way, using some Christian jargon, when could you say they were ‘saved’?
Answer: Who knows?
But one thing is clear, Jesus started discipling them from the moment He met them. To apprentice them in the way of Christ. Christ’s words and actions revealed to them a new way of being and doing.
Last Sunday on online church, Paul Rigby spoke, and gave a #micdrop moment (listen to the whole of his brilliant ten-minute message). He said this…
“Discipleship is not just for Christians, it’s for everyone!’
Yes, yes, and yes!
We need a complete re-thinking of how we see disciple-making – following the example of Jesus.
Discipleship isn’t something that happens after someone decides to make Jesus Lord of their life. Disciple-making is the privileged journey of walking with someone, and thoughtfully, lovingly, and intentionally inviting them to discover the person of Jesus and His breathtakingly, beautiful, better way of doing life – the life we’ve longed for.
We have daily opportunities to disciple others – from people we know to strangers on the street – through being and doing life like Jesus, and inviting them to join in.
How would your actions change if you truly believed that any moment, with anyone, could be a disciple-making moment? A moment of drawing someone closer to Jesus. A step in a journey.
No one makes a single decision to follow Jesus.
They make decisions.
To do life His way, with His Spirit.
We are disciples of Jesus, called to make disciples of everybody.
When does that start?
It starts with the very next person you meet after you read this.
God surprise you with what happens next!