An Offensive Question
"Look!" the man exclaimed. "I told you once. Didn't you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become His disciples, too?"
Then they cursed him and said, "You are His disciple — but we are disciples of Moses!" John 9:27-28
This question was asked to the Jews — by the man whom Jesus had healed of blindness — and it stung them exceedingly! They despised the thought of being the disciples of Jesus.
But this question may, perhaps, be asked to the reader, without giving so much offence. Will you, reader, be the disciple of Jesus?
His wisdom is infinite!
His power is omnipotent!
His authority is universal!
His beneficence is unbounded!
His disposition is most gentle and meek!
He performs the most surprising miracles!
He teaches the most important and valuable truths!
He now sits at the right-hand of God, and he saves all His disciples with an everlasting salvation!
What do you say? Will you be His disciple? If so . . .
you must surrender yourself, and your all, unto Him;
you must be ready to suffer with, and die for Him!
You must be willing to . . .
embrace His doctrines,
submit to be ruled by His precepts,
imitate his example, and
observe all His institutions!
A true disciple is teachable, and loves His Master above all. He . . .
studies to know His will,
watches His eye,
waits upon Him,
fears to offend Him,
delights to please Him,
confidently trusts Him,
zealously imitates Him,
cheerfully obeys Him,
is most happy when favored with His presence, and
will by no means leave Him — but cleaves to Him with full purpose of heart.
Will you be His disciple? If so, you must obey Him — you must do what He commands . . .
out of respect to His authority,
from love to His will,
from deference to His wisdom,
from zeal for His honor,
with faith in His promise,
fearing His frown.
His commands must rule your heart and life . . .
though your carnal nature may dislike them,
though friends may persuade you to neglect them,
though enemies may oppose and persecute you for regarding them,
and though for a time you may suffer loss for attending to them.
Will you be His disciple? If so, you must unite with those who already sit at His feet, and they are, generally speaking, poor — not many wealthy are called. They are despised — for they walk contrary to the maxims of the world. They are often deeply afflicted, "For whom the Lord loves — He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives."
If you will be His disciple, you must forsake . . .
all your present follies,
all your vain companions,
and all your carnal pleasures.
You must publicly profess your faith in, and obedience to Him; and you must engage to attend His worship and support His cause.
Young friend, will you be His disciple? Notwithstanding all that has been said — His disciples are happy; yes, they are the only people who are truly happy. They may be placed in the most painful circumstances, and seem to be most miserable of all men — but there is a secret something within which supports, animates, and cheers them at the worst! The Christian's worst — is better than the worldling's best!
His disciples are all honorable; they are the sons of God, they are kings in their minority, they are the heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ — to whom He has willed all His vast and eternal possessions! It will take a whole eternity, to enjoy all that God has given them — all that the blood of Jesus has secured to them!
His disciples are safe, for . . .
He throws around them the shield of His favor;
He places beneath them His everlasting arms;
He keeps fixed upon them His piercing, sleepless eye!
Thousands have entered His school, and been taught by His Spirit! Will you also be His disciples? Abraham was! David was! Paul was! Will you? "This is what the Lord says — your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow!"
He never turned away one who sincerely sought to enter His school. Nor was one ever rejected because He could not teach them His lessons. He receives every applicant — and He makes scholars of all who enter. He teaches them to . . .
walk with God,
overcome their foes, and
leads them all at length, to sit down in the glorious kingdom of God!