"Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." Matthew 28:16-20
This week we have been learning quite a bit about discipleship. What are the marks that identify a disciple of Jesus?
A disciple holds to faith that is evidenced by faithfulness. disciples are also followers of Jesus. They follow Him fully, above all else that is sacred and important to them. And fully devoted disciples of Jesus are fearless because they live in His power and His presence. It does not mean that they are never afraid it means that they don't let fear nullify their faith. A fully devoted disciple is also focused on fulfilling the mandate Jesus gave them. Fully devoted disciples are fruitful. That means they produce results and the results they produce are other disciples. A certain mark of discipleship is that disciples reproduce themselves in others. Another mark of a disciple is he has a familiar place.
There is yet another mark of a disciple that I notice in this portion of Scripture. A disciple has fellowship.
Disciples have fellowship with other Christ followers. Their common faith and common focus creates a bond that unites them. These eleven had shared life for three years as they followed Jesus together. They had become like brothers as they laughed together, cried together, worked together, and learned together at the feet of Jesus. Few things are sweeter in life than the fellowship shared by God's people. Disciples are blessed with fellowship.
Not only does a disciple have fellowship with other disciples, he gets to enjoy the fellowship with those he is discipling. When a follower of Jesus is used by God to win a convert to Christ, a special bond is forged. Leading someone to Christ is almost like having a child and in a sense, he is a spiritual child. Some of my best fellowship has been with men I have had the privilege of developing as disciples.
Fellowship with other disciples, fellowship with those being discipled, and the best fellowship is the fellowship we have with Jesus, Who promises "to be with you always, even to the end of the age". Enjoying fellowship with Jesus is a preview of eternity because Heaven will be highlighted by unending fellowship with Jesus in the presence of God!
Disciples are blessed by fellowship. They enjoy fellowship with one another, fellowship with new believers, and fellowship with Jesus. You cannot be a disciple without enjoying fellowship. There are no "lone ranger" Christians.
How is your fellowship? Who are you sharing life with as you follow Jesus?