“When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home” (John 19:26-27 ESV).
There are seven last sayings of Christ recorded in the four gospels. This year, we are studying these last words of Jesus from the cross on the Sundays leading up to Easter. This coming Sunday, we will be looking at the third saying where Jesus entrusted the welfare of his mother to his disciple, John.
In our study of this third saying, the personal relationship and loving care of our Lord Jesus for us has become even more evident. But you’ll have to wait for our sermon this coming Sunday to hear the insights the Lord has given us from our fruitful meditation and study on this saying. The reason I’m writing about it now, is not to tease you, but to encourage you to consider the importance of our relationships— with God and with one another— as it applies to discipleship.
As we continue to see God’s faithfulness in how our church has embraced Life On Life Discipleship, we want to emphasize even more the importance of a personal relationship with Jesus that calls us to a personal investment of our lives in others. Discipleship is not an optional church program to be taken like a class. It is a personal command of Jesus to follow him, in order to be with him, and to make disciples like him ( see Mark 3:14). We are called to help them grow more like Jesus by calling them to be with us, and to imitate us as we imitate Christ (1 Cor. 11:1).
Our Life On Life Discipleship workbook is not a program. It is a discipleship plan designed to give order and purpose for a one-to-one, life-on-life, discipleship relationship to form and take over, so that disciple-making, the Jesus way, can happen.
When Jesus was dying on the cross, he was not only acting to make provision for his mother’s soul. He was also mindful of his personal responsibility to care for her situation in this world. In the same way, we are to share our very lives with people, so that we can disciple them not only in spiritual things, but in the practical things of life too.
To disciple in the Jesus way, the emphasis must be on relationship.