You Cannot Be My Disciple
Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? (Rom 6:3 KJV)
Likewise reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Rom 6:11 KJV)
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26-27 KJV)
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:33 KJV)
Jesus has made a profound statement that the 21st Century church is neglecting. “You cannot be my disciple.” Is Jesus a respecter of persons? Not according to Acts 10:34. Isn’t salvation an offer to “whosoever will”? Absolutely! He said,
Whosoever therefore shall confess me before men, him will I confess also before my Father which is in heaven. (Matt 10:32 KJV)
So how is it possible that we can not be his disciple? Let us consider these verses. In Luke 14:26 he says we have to hate our father, mother, wife, children, brothers, sisters and our very own life. It is usually understood that He does not mean hate in the worldly sense, but rather in the same way that God has anger over unrighteousness. In other words, no man, not even yourself should have pre-eminence over God in your life.
Jesus further clarifies his statement in verse 27 when he says that if we do not bear our cross and come after Him, we cannot be His disciple. In other words, we have to deny our lives on a daily basis for His life instead. That statement is further emphasized in Luke 14:33 when He says we have to forsake all that we have, or we cannot be His
Does this mean no one can be saved unless they become hermits isolated in the wilderness? If so, then Jesus would be contradicting Himself when He said:
Ye are the light of the world. A city that is set on an hill cannot be hid. Neither do men light a candle, and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it giveth light unto all that are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven. (Matt 5:14-16 KJV)
He has always been understood to mean that we must deny our self interest at all times. His statement is not one about salvation. It is about maturity. It is about bearing fruit. His point is that you cannot be discipled as long as self interest is first. There are many Christians that are called ?babes? in Christ because they never learned to
embrace the cross. In order for Christ to instruct you in His way, the hindrances have to be removed. These hindrances stop the flow of His communication to us. As long as we are seeking self interest, we are seeking Satan?s will, and we cannot be His disciple. Jesus said to the Pharisees?
Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. (John 8:43-44 KJV)
Self interest mutes the voice of the Lord speaking to our hearts, and opens the door for Satan to speak instead. The voice of God is the voice of Truth. To hear God to be his disciple means accepting the Truth when you hear it. Self interest is the way of the world.
Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. (John 14:17 KJV)
I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. (John 16:12 KJV)
Even the disciples could not hear some things Jesus had to say because they were still wrapped up in self interest. It took the cross of Christ to bring in the new birth for the disciples to genuinely become disciples.
Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. (John 3:3 KJV)
It goes without saying that before you can even be a disciple you have to have the new birth, without which you can not even see the kingdom of God.
Self interest creates a conflict of interest.
No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Matt 6:24 KJV)
And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. (Mark 3:24 KJV)
It is not possible to serve God and love money at the same time. To be his disciple we have to love God above all else, or the conflict that arises nullifies any spiritual fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. (Matt 7:18 KJV)
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. (John 15:4 KJV)
Spiritual fruit needs a single minded devotion to God. That means in all areas of our lives. Every thing we do, jobs, marriage, etc. should be done as unto the Lord (Col.3:22).
Denying self is the Lord?s means of genuine freedom, as well as discipleship. Jesus said:
Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin. And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever. If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed. (John 8:34-36 KJV)
The servant needs the master. We work for employers because we need the income the employer provides. If an employee thinks that is there is no other source of income, he will be servile towards the employer. If we think we need the sin we commit, we come into the same bondage. When you embrace the cross and die to the sin, you will stop sinning which is freedom in deed, or action.
Co-dependency is similar. One person thinks they need the other, so the one thinking they have the
need is subject to the one without need. As long as Satan can deceive people into thinking they need a certain sin, Satan controls that person and no spiritual fruit can be born. But genuine freedom is realizing that we need nothing in this life, including our own lives, because God is the source of all and is the True Life. As the source He created everything so there is nothing that we may need that He cannot take care of. And as the life, He will resurrect us in the end, so our own lives mean nothing in that context. Jesus said,
For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it. (Matt 16:25 KJV)
We can lay our lives down for our wives (Eph 5:25). Bearing your cross gives genuine freedom, which also enables you to be a true disciple of Christ. Bear your cross and be His disciple.