What is it that makes a believer in Jesus Christ different from other people? What is it about you and your life makes you holy or set apart and by what definition are you a disciple of Jesus?
When Jesus delivered His Sermon on the Mount, the Lord saw the crowd of people looking for healing, miracles and such, but He ascended higher up on the mountain and then His disciples approached to hear Him teach on God’s word.
We don’t know if the terrain became too difficult or too narrow for the general crowd to draw near but we do know that it was the disciples of Jesus who drew near to their Master to learn His interpretation of Scripture.
There are many who claim to be followers or disciples, students of the One they call Lord. But did you know the book of Matthew gives us five sermons that are meant to be committed to memory?
There is the Sermon on the Mount found in Matthew chapters 5-7, the Missionary Discourse found in Matthew chapter 10, the Parables of the Kingdom found in Matthew 13, the Community Discourse of Matthew 18 and the Olivette Discourse of Matthew 24-25. These five sermons correspond to the five books of Torah and give us a solid foundation on how to live and what to expect from the Christian life.
According to writings of the early church a believer in the days of the Apostles would not be allowed to be baptized into the fellowship until they had proved they had committed the words of Jesus to memory as a true disciple.
The Lord created human beings with a vast ability to memorize large volumes of information. I think of all the things I have learned in my life from how to diagnose and repair an F-16 to just this week learning to navigate 3-D images of the human mouth and everything in between. I am thankful of the Christian school my mom paid for me to attend and the large amounts of Scripture they required me to memorize but how much do I continue to memorize. I am older now and it is more difficult but the wisdom and peace that God gives us through the hiding of His word in our hearts is vast indeed.
The Lord calls on His people to be set apart or holy from this world and its people. One of the ways this is accomplished is by being a disciple of Jesus not just a believer in Jesus. How can we have fruit without the living water to cause growth?
As the coming days grow darker and more difficult it will be the disciples of Jesus who have His words in their hearts and minds that will stand as the winds blow, it will be the disciples of Jesus who not only hear His words but live them out, they will remain standing after the storm.