When we pick up the bible, and read the new testament, we all know it starts with what is called the gospels. We have the gospels according to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Gospel simply means good news…the good news of our Lord and savior Christ! He brought the good news about the coming of The Most High’s kingdom, and he shared many parables about it. While here on earth, he performed many miracles, taught and fed thousands of people and prepared them for the kingdom of heaven which is at hand. Each one of the four disciples that wrote a book, did it from their own point of view. They watched Christ day in and day out as he maneuvered the never ending crowd, how he spoke, what he said, how he said it, how he dealt with others and wrote their account of how they perceived his life.
I feel its safe to say that all of us living in this day and time only know about Christ based off of what we now read about him. However, those living during the time of Christ knew of him based on the works he did, and he also challenged his disciples to walk as he did. Therefore, to be considered one of his disciples even today, we must walk as he walked. In John, Christ gives his disciples an example of what he expects them to do. John 13:12 -17, So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? 13 Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am. 14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet. 15 For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you. 16 Verily, verily, I say unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. 17 If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. To be Christ’s disciple, we must realize that we are here to serve and not to be served, but more importantly, when serving…do it happily.
Furthermore, to be called his disciples we must understand this commandment given in John 13:34-35, A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. 35 By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. Firstly, the word ‘new’ is the Greek word ‘kainos’ which is the Strong’s number 2537. The definition of this word is newness or to renew qualitatively, to renew, the act of renewing. This shows that the commandment to love is not a new one, but was a law originally given back in the old testament, Leviticus 19:18. Christ was telling them that to be his disciples, they needed to refresh themselves, go back and practice that which was an everlasting commandment. Secondly, in verse 34, love is the Greek word ‘Agapao’ which is Strong’s number 25. This is God’s love towards man which is the highest kind of love there is. We are far from ever being able to love like God does, but Christ still urged his disciples to aim for this kind of love. As we move on to verse 35 however, the love here is ‘Agape’ which is Strong’s number 26 and is translated as charity, i.e.benevolent love. What makes this special is this benevolence is not shown in doing what the person who is loved desires, but rather what is deemed that they need. This takes a total mindset change and guidance by the Holy Spirit. Being Christ’s disciples means we must show benevolence with no thought of getting any back in return. It means going out of your way to ensure your brother or sister has what they need when they need it. It means being happily and readily benevolent without grumbling. It means no matter how much or how little you might percieve that you have to give, you can still find a way to be benevolent. This can be a simple phone call, a soft touch, a listening ear or an encouraging word, to name very few. To love is a commandment that Christ felt was extremely important to mention, and we have no choice but to obey. Time is of the essence, and its imperative that we turn a new leaf and turn away from our love of self and be about the business of serving and doing that which our savior has called us to do.
Finally, it does not take a whole lot to be charitable, just a determined mindset. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you and show you new ways to exhibit your benevolence. Start at home with your spouse, children or anyone within your household. As you walk out this simple commandment given to us by Christ, you may be the closest resemblance to Christ others may ever get to see. By this, they can come to know Christ by the gospel according to ‘YOU’.
Till the next time, shalom and blessings.