When in faith we recognize our need, repent, confess our sins, and claim Christ’s righteousness for ourselves, we become His disciples. During His ministry, Jesus called different people, such as Peter and James and John, to be His disciples, a call that implied leaving everything in order to follow Him (Matt. 4:20, 22; Mark 10:28; Luke 5:28). In fact, in the Gospels the verb to follow practically became a synonym for disciple.
What two elements are essential in order to be a disciple of Jesus? See John 8:30-31.
Some people try to separate faith in Jesus from adherence to Jesus’ teachings, as if the first would be more important than the latter. But Jesus did not make such a distinction. For Him, both aspects are closely interrelated and fundamental for true discipleship. A disciple of Jesus is committed to His person, as well as to His words. Though there is always the danger of getting so caught up in doctrines and forms of faith that we lose sight of Jesus Himself, we must also be aware of the danger of thinking that all that matters in our walk with the Lord is to believe in Jesus.
What is the high cost of being a disciple of Jesus? See Luke 14:25-27.
Jesus used the verb to hate as a hyperbole meaning to love less. The parallel passage in Matthew clarifies the meaning of Jesus’ words: 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 (Matt. 10:37, NKJV). Jesus must have the first place in our lives if we want to be His disciples.
What has following Christ, being His disciple, cost you? What does your answer say about your walk with the Lord?