A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone who is perfectly trained will be like his teacher.
(Luke 6:40 NKJV)
The path of the believer leads first of all to having to decide whether to be a disciple or not. It is not a title acquired at spiritual birth, but a role that requires will, desire and commitment, starting precisely from a personal decision. To be a disciple a teacher is needed, a figure of reference and inspiration is needed. The greater the teacher, the more the disciple will be able to grow. In the same way, those who choose a "small" master will remain so. I believe that every believer should aspire to be a disciple, and to be motivated by the right motivations. Following Christ means putting oneself in the following of one of his faithful witnesses. Paul urged: "Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ" (1 Corinthians 11:1). Unfortunately it happens that some believers walk the path of discipleship nourishing personal ambitions, whose only motivation is family or work frustration, the need for affirmation or qualification at least in the ecclesial context.
Just as a child is always the "product" of a parent, so the disciple will mirror the master. Before being a guide for Timothy, Paul was in the wake of Barnabas, his mentor in the Way, despite having years behind Gamaliel at his feet. No aspiring disciple can do it alone, because you are not going anywhere by yourself. In this perspective, Jesus' sending of the first disciples to two by two will have his reason. Although they returned from that experience rejoicing and triumphant, when the journey became harder many of that group decided to give up: to the handpiece more short of remaining men, Jesus asked if they also wanted to leave (John 6:67). This shows how life places difficult moments, crossroads and circumstances that require a choice before the believer, and it is not always easy to choose to be on the Lord's side. But the disciple is one who is able to make sacrifices and take the cross of his Lord on his shoulder.
As for the first disciples, even for all believers, of all ages and of all generations, and therefore also for us, the imperative of Jesus returns: "Make disciples" (Matthew 28:19). Jesus looked at us and after us, when in choosing the disciples he recommended them to do other disciples. The same will be done by the apostle Paul later with Timothy (2 Timothy 2:2). I believe in the idea that discipleship is not a title or a certificate, but the course of a life lived in the following of Christ. It is through evangelization that we are all equally invited to Jesus, but only a small part chooses to carry the cross; only those who are prepared to be prepared manifest the will of spiritual growth. Unfortunately there are situations in which there is no clear path, and believers remain on the sidelines, without experience or uncertainty about what to do. At the same time, however, I believe that if he persists in relegating an aspiring disciple to be a spectator user of lectures and seminars, without encouraging him to evangelize and / or put him in a position to perform a service, over time these will go out. Give the best of yourself, always! By recognizing our limitations and trying to move them from time to time, we will prove to be disciples. To those who were thinking of leaving or living an arduous moment, I dedicate this poem.
Be the best of whatever you are
If you can’t be a pine on the top of the hill
Be a scrub in the valley – but be
The best little scrub by the side of the rill;
Be a bush if you can’t be a tree.
If you can’t be a bush be a bit of the grass,
And some highway some happier make;
If you can’t be a muskie then just be a bass–
But the liveliest bass in the lake!
We can’t all be captains, we’ve got to be crew,
There’s something for all of us here.
There’s big work to do and there’s lesser to do,
And the task we must do is the near.
If you can’t be a highway then just be a trail,
If you can’t be the sun be a star;
It isn’t by size that you win or you fail–
Be the best of whatever you are.
Weekly Bible reading plan
29 April 1 Kings 6-7; Luke 20:27-47
30 April 1 Kings 8-9; Luke 21:1-19
01 May 1 Kings 10-11; Luke 21:20-38
02 May 1 Kings 12-13; Luke 22:1-30
03 May 1 Kings 14-15; Luke 22:31-46
04 May 1 Kings 16-18; Luke 22:47-71
05 May 1 Kings 19-20; Luke 23:1-25
May 3rd is World Press Freedom Day. We pray that in every part of the world the freedom to express and communicate is granted, without any condition or control.