Wednesday, October 30, 2013

October 31, 2013

"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

If you were arrested for impersonating a disciple, would there be enough evidence to convict you?

We have been examining the evidence that identifies a true disciple. These eleven passed the test. One other, Judas Iscariot was masquerading as a disciple but was unmasked by his betrayal of Jesus.

Several years ago I was watching some of the Iowa-Indiana football game. The camera was doing a wide scan of the fans in the bleachers, with the game being played on Halloween, many fans were dressed in various costumes. There were ghouls and ghosts and cartoon characters and political figures and animals - all the normal cast of characters as the camera moved across the rows. But then there was one who stood out from the crowd and caused the camera to reverse and come back for a double-take. What costume caused such a response? Someone had dressed up like Jesus! And it was a good costume! He looked the part!

But it takes more than dressing up like Jesus to be like Jesus. This fellow was proof that you can look like Jesus and be a fake because Jesus would never be an Iowa Hawkeye fan.

You can't pretend to be a disciple. You can't just look the part or play the part and pass yourself off as a disciple. Discipleship doesn't happen from the outside in.

Just ask Judas.

True disciples are transformed by saving faith in Jesus. They live in a faith relationship with Jesus and walk by faith. They deny themselves and take up the cross of sacrifice and obedience. They live lives that show the real power and grace of God.

There is no tricking Jesus about discipleship. He has seen the real ones and is not fooled by fake disguises. He doesn't look on the outward appearance but gets to the heart of the matter.

Tricking Him is no treat.