Christmas is about Discipleship
I would like us to approach this Christmas Season with the understanding of what it means to be a true disciple of Christ Jesus.
Christmas is a time when millions around the world think more seriously about Jesus. They read the Christmas story and wonder who He was and why He was born. They marvel at the simplicity of His birth and question that out of such a humble beginning could grow the largest religion on the face of the earth. They are amazed at Jesus, but most do not follow Him. They wonder at Him, but many do not believe in Him.
As we have been contemplating, a true Christian is a true disciple. A disciple is one who follows, learns and obeys the Master, Jesus. A disciple is one who reflects the nature and the character of the Master.
The story of Christmas is one of true discipleship. We simply need to look at the characters in the Christmas story.
Luke 1: 38. Mary, a deeply devoted teenage girl was looking forward to marrying her sweetheart and dreaming of their future. These dreams were dashed upon hearing the angel's message. “Mary, you will have a child and He shall be of divine origin. God will be His Father.” Now in theory, every devout Jewish girl wondered if the Messiah would come through her as the Old Testament foretold (Isaiah 7:14). Yet, to actually become that chosen vessel, enduring the scorn of others, along with the possible rejection of her husband Joseph, was a heavy burden to bear. This took a bold and courageous act of discipleship. Mary's response... “I am the Lord's servant. May everything you have said about me come true.” What obedience!
Matthew 1:19-25. Think of Joseph, often the unsung hero of this story. When faced with the angelic messenger in a dream, he believed and immediately took Mary as his wife. His obedience required letting go of his own plans and desires. Yet, as he heard the Word of God he believed and he obeyed.
Matthew 2:1-12. The story of the Magi or wise men is compelling. We know nothing of them. They are mysterious and foreign to Israel, yet they obey what they do know about God and what they have heard from Him. Think of their commitment. Think of their investment of time, energy and wealth. They were obedient and were used of God to honour Him.
Lastly, think of the obedience of Christ Jesus the Son. We do not often think of the discipleship of Christ. He was completely obedient to the will of God the Father. Entering this world in a lowly stable, He lived His earthly life in complete obedience to His Father. Philippians 2 makes this abundantly clear. He did the will of God even to the point of death. This is true discipleship and it is what Jesus calls us to be. At this Christmas season are we His true disciples?
God bless you as we pray this month,
Dr. Bill Fietje