Christ Lutheran Church
7801 Indiana Avenue, Lubbock, Texas 79423-1805
Phone:  806-799-0162; Fax:  806-799-2273
E-Mail:  info@christ-lutheran.com

FROM THE PASTOR
 

"For God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish but have eternal life."  John 3:16

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FROM THE PASTOR

Disciple

The word "disciple" is rarely used outside the Church, except maybe as a pejorative to describe the toadies of some evil mastermind. As words go, itís a churchy one. Before He ascends into the heavens (Matthew 28:19ff), our Lord commands the Disciples to "make disciples of all nations." Of course, the Greek command there just takes the noun "disciple" and turns it into a verb: "disciple the nations." So what is a disciple?

For most of us, the word "disciple" means something like "follower." To be sure, thatís not entirely wrong. In Philosophy we might say one is a disciple of Plato or of Kant. And within Christian imagery, the picture of Jesus as the Good Shepherd who seeks and saves the lost places us as follower-lambs in the flock of that Good Shepherd. It works. And our Lord did command us to pick up our cross and follow Him.

But this word for "disciple" used in Matthewís gospel has a pretty consistent meaning both in and out of the Bible. This word μαθητής (mathetes) means something more like "student" or "learner." Itís the root of the word mathematics. It has the same root as the Greek verb "learn."

To be a disciple is to be a Christian; to be a Christian is to be a disciple. So what does it mean to be a disciple? Sure, it does mean to follow Jesus. But how? This word tells us so much Ė to follow Jesus is to be a hearer and learner of His Word. When Jesus gives this command to the disciples to "make disciples of all nations," He tells them how they will do it. They will baptize, and they will teach them (the nations) all things He has commanded them.

From that time until now, Jesusí program of discipling the nations by baptizing and teaching continues. In far-flung and exotic parts of the world, the Church is baptizing and teaching, and disciples are being made. This is not, however, only happening in the far-flung parts of the world. Even in the plains of West Texas, even here at Christ Lutheran, we are still carrying our Christís command to make disciples by baptiz-ing and teaching.

On Reformation Sunday, we heard Jesus say to the Jews who had believed in Him, "If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." To be a disciple, then, is not merely to hear His Word once. Those who are truly His disciples abide in His Word, that is, they dwell in His Word, coming back to it again and again for instruction, nourishment, and comfort.

Fellow disciples of Christ, take the opportunity to learn Godís Word here at Christ Lutheran. Come to the divine service every Sunday and be refreshed by the Gospel and the Sacrament. Come to Bible class on Sunday morning. Weíre having a great time learning together from Godís Word. Come Wednesday nights at 6:30 to our book study and reflect on what it means to live as a Christian in this modern culture. Read the Bible to your children and teach them what it means. Pray as a family. No Christian ever outgrows the need to hear Godís Word regularly and often. No Christian ever learns enough that he can be satisfied in this life. Be a disciple of Jesus Christ: hear the Word, learn the Word, and pray the Word. May God bless you richly by His Word, that you would abide in it and remain His true disciples.

Pastor Hinton

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Last Modified:  01/18/2017