I am excited to begin our Lenten study tonight of Rowan Williams’ book: Being Disciples – Essentials of the Christian Life. Tonight we will look at Chapter 1- Being Disciples where Dr. Williams give us a brief overview of what it means to be a disciple of Jesus. One of the overall ideas of the chapter is that being a disciple is a continuous state of being in the presence of Jesus and of following him.
As we follow Jesus, Williams tells us that we will necessarily be taken into two different but similar relationships. First, we should find ourselves in the company of people that Jesus kept. As Jesus instructs us in Luke 14, this company should seldom consist of the eminent and honorable people but rather those who are often found on the outside. The religious leaders chastised Jesus for eating with the undesirables of society, and yet that is where his disciples were found. Matt. 9, Acts 10.
Second, we should find ourselves as being in the presence of God the Father (or at least longing to be within that relationship), just as Jesus the Son is. Jesus says “Amen, Amen. I say to you, the Son can do nothing of his own accord, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever he does, the Son does likewise.” John 5:19. Jesus further teaches that “He who believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. And he who sees me sees him who sent me.” John 12:44-45. Jesus reflects and mediates the Father. Therefore, as his disciples, when we follow Jesus, we see God and abide in God’s eternal presence.
[I ask] that they may all be one. As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory that you have given me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one. John 17:21-22