Promptness

A disciple must be quick to react to his master’s command and teaching. He is not to wait until he feels like he wants to do what he has been instructed. He does not follow according to his mood. The follower of Jesus is prompt to do and to put into practice what he had been taught.

Learning is a process. It requires time and effort. No doubt about that. However, it also requires a willingness to submit everything and leave behind traditions, prejudices, and paradigms to embrace what is to be taught. In Mark 1:19-20, Jesus approaches James and John and calls them to follow him. The brothers were getting ready to go out and fish (Mk.1:19).

Verse twenty says, “Without delay he called them, and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men and followed him.”[1] James and John did not ask for permission to quit their job and go out after Jesus. The Bible tells us that “they left their father in the boat,” and immediately they followed Jesus. They were willing to do so. In such a way, a disciple must be willing and quick, not only to follow but to obey what God is saying and commanding.

 

Authority

In this learning process called discipleship, the pupil gets the authority to do and perform what the teacher instructs him to do. He has no authority by his means but through the express command of the instructor. In Mark chapter 6:7-12, Jesus called his disciples and sent them on a mission (Mk. 6:7). The specifics of the mission are recorded for us to gain insight and perspective from them. They disciples were commanded to preach the good news and to cast out impure spirits (Mk. 6:7).

The Scripture is clear in letting us know from where the authority came from: he began to send them out two by two and gave them authority over impure spirits [2]. The authority the disciples received was not theirs but Jesus’. In the same way, today, the follower of Jesus has been instructed to go out and preach that people should repent (Mk. 6:12). In the particular case of the twelve, they also were given authority to perform signs and wonders (Mk. 6:134; Mt.10:9-14; Lk 9:3-5). Luke tells us that they healed people everywhere (Lk 9:6). Nowadays, the disciple of Jesus is called out to preach the gospel and pray over the broken, the forgotten and the least.

The authority a follower of Jesus receives has its source in God himself, and it is manifested due to the work of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer as he spends time with Scripture and allows it to produce that which it was sent to do (Heb. 4:12). Scripture is alive and active. Therefore, it produces transformation on the pupil as he gets to spend time studying, meditating, submitting, and obeying it.


 

Footnotes:

[1] The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Mk 1:20.

[2] The New International Version (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011), Mk 6:7.