For the proclamation of the Gospel and the edification of the Body of Christ
The Testimony of a Disciple
"In this they will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another" (John 13.35).
When a man or woman receives the Lord Jesus, and believes on His name, he/she becomes a son of God, born of God (John 1.12-13). Every new creature is a servant of Jesus Christ a son of God and servant of Jesus Christ but he/she still isn't a disciple. Jesus makes this distinction in Matthew 10.24.
The servant is related with his Lord, the disciple with his Teacher. All sons of God, born of the Spirit, are servants of Jesus Christ, because it was for this that He died and came back to life again: "Because if we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. Therefore, whether we live, or whether we die, we are of the Lord. Because for this Christ died and was resurrected, and he rose to live again, to be Lord of both the dead and the living" (Roman 14.8-9).
Every son of God is a servant, but not every servant is a disciple. The servant is called to be a disciple, and for this it is necessary to hear his Teacher (Matthew 11.28-30). To be servants it is necessary only to believe, but to be a disciple it is necessary to take our cross. To be a disciple it is necessary to give up all that you have, even your own life: "If anyone comes to me, and doesn't hate his father, mother, wife, and children, and brothers and sisters, and even also their own life, they cannot be my disciple. Whoever doesn't take up their cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple... So then none of you can be my disciple if you don't give up all your possessions" (Luke 14.26-33).
Amongst us, Christians, the testimony of a servant and of Jesus as our Lord is well known. God made Him Lord and Christ (Acts 2.36). If this is not faith in us, we cannot even be called Christians. We have the testimony of a servant, but not that of a disciple.
We can be called His servants, but can we be called His disciples? With our lips perhaps we give ourselves the title of disciples, but Jesus said that there is a testimony in His true disciples: their love for each other. Perhaps, at the beginning, faced with that word, we should feel embarrassed, but Jesus shows us the way, that of the cross. To deny ourselves, take up our cross daily and follow Him.
In Luke 9.23, Jesus tells us that to be his disciple is not an imposition, but a personal decision. However for this it is necessary to take up our cross, and to give up all that we have, even our own life. It is only when we yearn for Him, deny ourselves and take up our cross that we will be able to love each other, and then we will be able to say that we are truly His disciples.
It is only with the testimony of disciples that the world will believe that He was sent. May the testimony of the Father's love that was in Christ, be also in us: "...so that the love with which you have loved me, may be in them, and I in them" (John 17.26).
May the Lord help us to consider Him not only as our Lord, but also as our Teacher.