“We become what we behold” wrote 18th century poet William Blake.
Isn’t that idea true?
We emulate the sayings and mannerisms of our spouses or friends, the people we are around the most. Kids pick up repetitive parenting phrases and apply them to their siblings “I’m going to count to three, one…” Everything from our fashion choices to the TV shows we watch are often steered by the influences we subject ourselves to. Why do you suppose there is so much sponsored content on social media? One-click purchase opportunities paired with an idealized image?
So we can become what we behold.
This principle applies to our spiritual lives as well. If we want to bear fruit in the Christian life, we must behold Christ, abide in His presence, and fix our eyes on Him. As we abide in Christ, we are changed and conformed to His image. Our call as believers is to mirror Christ to a watching world. To become what we behold.
In disciplemaking, this concept is continued further. We invite others to follow our example as we follow the example of Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1). In the last post, we discussed how Jesus taught his disciples through demonstration more than explanation. He invited others to bear witness to His life and thereby be transformed. If we are to follow in Jesus’ footsteps, we invite others to do the same.
That’s a sobering thought isn’t it?
The call to disciple others is paired with the profound responsibility to grow as disciples of Christ ourselves. The word disciple (in the Greek mathetes) means student or learner. When Jesus talked about “disciples,” He was speaking about people who would follow him (Matthew 4:19), learn from him (Matthew 11:29) and become more like Him (Matthew 10:24,25). To be clear, the call is to make disciples of Jesus, but His command for us to “make disciples” also carries the responsibility to live lives worth imitating.
Are we following him? Learning from him? Becoming more like Him? These are the prerequisites for disciplemaking before any outward ministry is possible. We can only be fruitful for Christ as ever-growing disciples of Christ.
Let’s fix our eyes on Christ and be changed by His presence so that when others see our lives they see the semblance of Christ and desire to follow Him as well.