Discipleship Requires a Personal Revolution

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"There can be only one permanent revolution — a moral one; the regeneration of the inner man. How is this revolution to take place? Nobody knows how it will take place in humanity, but every man feels it clearly in himself. And yet in our world everybody thinks of changing humanity, and nobody thinks of changing himself."1

The heart of discipleship asks the question, "What will it take to change the world for our Master?" After many years of searching, my answer is that it has to start with a Personal Revolution. Here's what I mean…

There's a story told of a rabbi from the late nineteenth century who set out to change the world, but very soon realized that he could not. So, he decided to focus on changing the Jewish community of his country but failed there as well. He then decided to focus on changing the people of his hometown but didn't get any further. Finally, in a last effort, he believed he could change his family and sought to do so. Failure was the end result there as well. In the end he realized that the only person he could really change was himself. So, he began to do so. And today, long after his death, his teachings are the cornerstone of Jewish life, particularly in proper speech and ethical conduct.

This is our path. Too many times we want to go out and change the world and start off by trying to "fix" everyone else. But the path to permanent, lasting, sustainable change has to begin with ourselves. Yes, we should be working to change the world, but it must begin with ourselves.

Yeshua said,

"A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher" (Luke 6:40).

In order to be a true disciple of Yeshua we need to be like our teacher, our master. However, in order to be like our teacher, we must be trained. And my teachings on discipleship could be the starting point and the inspiration for your training, don't think of it as "the" training. Your actual training will come in your day to day experiences: your studies, devotions, meditations and applications. Think of these teachings as the catalyst for change — your inspiration to dig deeper into knowing this man, Yeshua and becoming a radical follower of him.

Ralph Waldo Emerson said that the creation of a thousand forests lies within one acorn. This concept is at the heart of discipleship.

Within each of us lies the potential to produce thousands of disciples of our Master. But it must begin with us. In other words, it takes one to make one. We must become a fruit-producing (disciple-producing) tree before any other fruit-producing trees (disciple-makers) can be produced. Just as one seed has the potential to create "a thousand forests," each one of us has the potential to create thousands of disciples through first becoming a disciple ourselves.

I believe we can raise up a host of true disciples for our Master through sparking personal transformation by challenging one another in regard to authentic imitation of Messiah.

In order to raise up disciples, we first have to make sure we are one. My seminar, Discipleship From a First Century Perspective, is designed to make us ask the difficult questions in regard to our personal path of discipleship so that we can assess ourselves as true disciples of our Master and learn how to become the disciples he expects of us. I will be posting more and more in regard to Discipleship From a First Century Perspective. I look forward to exploring the implications of being a true disciple of our Master with you in the days ahead.

Please note: I will be speaking in Smyrna, GA on May 2 and would love to speak for you as well. If you would like to have me come speak, please contact me through our contact page.

  • 1. Tolstoy, Leo, (1990). Pamphlets. Translated From the Russian. Free Age Press, 71