Radical Discipleship

Purpose is a powerful thing. We all want to think out lives have purpose. The best way to have a sense of purpose is to have a sense of mission. Jesus had a mission, he was sent by the Father to rescue a fallen, sinful world. The ultimate consummation of his mission was his death on the cross for our sins and his resurrection from the dead. But Jesus initially came as a teacher with a message. His message was the kingdom of God. He said “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe the gospel” (Mark 1:15). Everything Jesus said and did was designed to bring the kingdom of God. The most fundamental way Jesus sought to bring the kingdom was that he called people to follow him in discipleship, “Follow me, and I will make you become fishers of men” (Mark 1:17). Jesus called people to follow him as the way to enter the kingdom, live in the kingdom and join him in his kingdom mission.

Jesus’ call to discipleship was radical. He demanded total commitment and surrender to himself as Savior and Lord. His disciples are to love him and follow him with such joy and delight that they are willing to lay down their lives for the kingdom of God. Those not willing to make such a commitment cannot enter the kingdom or be a disciple (Matthew 10:37-39; Mark 8:31-38; Luke 14:25-27). The basic demand for this radical discipleship is seen in Mark 8:34, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.” The call to radical discipleship is not a call to the bold and committed Christian, while other less committed Christians are saved but not serious. The call to radical discipleship is what it means to be a Christian. Jesus called those who would go make disciples. He loved and discipled them with that view in mind. Discipleship was Jesus’ master plan to redeem and transform the world.

Jesus still calls people to radical discipleship. He still loves and disciples them for his mission. Every disciple/believer has a unique and strategic role to play in the mission of Jesus. Our purpose is clear, we must be totally surrendered to know Jesus, grow in Jesus, and make Jesus known. Are you a radical disciple?

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