January 17, 2015

What is a Disciple? “Follow Me”

Galatians 1:11-24

In these verses, Paul provides a more detailed timeline of his discipleship process than the one we read in Acts 9. Ananias ministered to Paul after his conversion. After his baptism, Paul fled to Arabia where he lived for three years. He then returned to Damascus before he traveled to Jerusalem where he spent 15 days with Peter (Cephas) and some time with James, the brother of Jesus. In Acts 9:27, Barnabas took Paul under his wing and came to his defense when faced by skeptical apostles. For safety concerns, Paul returned to his hometown of Tarsus for about eight years where he continued to grow spiritually before embarking on his first missionary journey with Barnabas (Acts 11:25). Altogether, Paul’s discipleship process totaled approximately fourteen years.

Becoming a disciple of Christ does not happen overnight. It does not end with baptism; rather, baptism is only the beginning. The decision to follow Jesus is one we must make each and every day for the rest of our lives. Jesus said, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross daily and follow me” (Luke 9:23).