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Disciples Live a Life Pleasing to God

But what does it mean to be his disciple?

It is probably different than you think because we do not have any word for it in our English language. The Hebrew word translated for us to English is talmid. The plural is talmidim.

Unlike the words disciple or student or apprentice that suggest a learning and doing process, the word talmid is a Hebrew term that describes a becoming process. Talmid desire to become just like their rabbi. It is more than the practical application of the knowledge we gain. It is more than taking actions based upon our understanding of his teachings. A talmid of Jesus will be growing to reflect the very character of Jesus, have a heart after the Father, and be gaining the mind of Christ. Becoming all he would have us be requires that we trust the teachings of Jesus, the Father in us doing his works and the power of the Holy Spirit in us to will and to do it - for the benefit of all of us.

At Pentecost, those gathered went from having learned how to become like their rabbi Jesus (operating in the character and attributes Jesus established in them) to then additionally having the Presence of the living God in them

But what I know about you and what I know about me is that we started out focused upon self and the need to coerce for what we wanted from the time we were born. When we wanted our mother’s milk we could get it by crying, or screaming if need be. Our earliest learning was that crying and screaming are useful in making others give us what we want. We were necessarily self-focused at birth, and screaming and crying were the only words we knew to communicate that we were hungry. We were born with minds that were necessarily selfish and coercive to survive, but many of us have carried our manipulative ways into adulthood! 

1 Corinthians 13:11 When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.

The responsibility of a rabbi in the Old Testament was to teach the people how to fulfill the Torah. That is to say, how to live a life pleasing to God. That is what Jesus did. We have lost this concept in our modern day teaching. We teach people what to know, not so much how to live. Our nation is being torn apart by people who do not know how to engage peacefully and respectfully in disagreement. If we don't know how to live, how can we know how to love? Learning how to love, we will know how to live. The foundational aspects are really quite simple, though the living of them requires the development of great discipline!

  • The Ten Commandments; Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength; love your neighbor as yourself; Love one another as I have loved you that the world may know you are my talmidim...

So how to do it? In the attitudes of the Beatitudes:

Matthew 5:2-12: 2 And he opened his mouth and taught them, saying: 3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 4 “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted. 5 “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth. 6 “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. 7 “Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy. 8 “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. 9 “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God. 10 “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. 12 Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

...and in language and actions consistent with developing fruit of the Spirit: Love, Joy, Peace, Patience, Kindness, Goodness, Gentleness, Pereverence and Self Control.

Galatians 5:22-24: 22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness (perseverance), 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

Sharing information as God would have us, we are Gentle, Patient, Kind and Persevering in Goodness so that the information we share is void of manipulation or coercion. The Holy Spirit helps in Self-Control so that the end result offers a desired outcome that will grow Peace, Joy and Love. Then, like God, we remain available for dialogue (avoiding fight or flight) and let them choose for themselves.