Judas, one of the twelve, betrayed Jesus and ultimately committed suicide. To replace him the disciples proceeded first by determining the qualifications needed to be a good disciple of Christ.
Then they came up with the names of two men who met their requirements. Joseph called Barsabbas and Matthias. Not knowing which of them to choose, they took the matter to the Lord in prayer.
Then they all prayed, “O Lord, you know every heart. Show us which of these men you have chosen as an apostle to replace Judas in this ministry, for he has deserted us and gone where he belongs. ”Acts 1:24-25
Coming up with the conclusion to replace Judas, Peter stood before the 120 which included the remaining 11 apostles. He addressed them by saying the following.
“Brothers,” he said, “the Scriptures had to be fulfilled concerning Judas, who guided those who arrested Jesus. This was predicted long ago by the Holy Spirit, speaking through King David. Acts 1:16
Then he cited what the Psalmist wrote in Psalm 109.
Peter continued, “This was written in the book of Psalms, where it says, ‘Let his home become desolate, with no one living in it.’ It also says, ‘Let someone else take his position.’ Acts 1:20
The Qualifications the Disciples Looked For
What were the qualifications the disciples were looking for? We know the definition of a good disciple of Christ is one who makes other disciples of Christ.
But that wasn’t what they were looking for. They were looking deeper than that. The basic criteria for this person came down to consistency and faithfulness.
So now we must choose a replacement for Judas from among the men who were with us the entire time we were traveling with the Lord Jesus— from the time he was baptized by John until the day he was taken from us. Acts 1:21-22
We don’t know how many disciples followed Jesus throughout His ministry. We can assume at one time quite a few followed Him.
But that number was reduced because the Lord said something that didn’t sit well with some of them. John recorded that many deserted Him. The twelve apostles though stayed.
Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, “Does this offend you? At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him. John 6:61,66
So, Peter addressed the 120 with the purpose of filling the spot vacated by Judas. Only 2 men within that number met the stated requirements.
What Does It Take to be a Good Disciple of Christ?
Then I thought of myself, would I have met those requirements? Obviously, we can’t use the same criteria used by Peter. But we can measure ourselves by our consistency and faithfulness.
From the day I first met Jesus until today, what does my track record look like? Or how about yours? Please understand, God isn’t looking for perfection or sinlessness.
He is looking for faithfulness. He is looking for those who will stick with it. We’ve already mentioned that many walked out on Jesus because they were offended by His Word.
Sadly, it still happens today. We live in a society of permissiveness. Anything goes! Even Christians get caught up in that mindset.
And for many, instead of conforming to His Word, they walk away from it. A popular comment is “God understands.” The real problem is it’s they who don’t understand. Isaiah wrote:
What sorrow for those who drag their sins behind them with ropes made of lies, who drag wickedness behind them like a cart! Isaiah 5:18
The Man Who Walked Away from Jesus
The gospels tell us of another man who walked away from Jesus. This man had everything going for him. He consistently followed God’s Word, so where was his without a flaw?
Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.” Matthew 19:21
A good disciple of Christ must let nothing stand between them and their relationship with the Lord. This man’s response proved where his priorities were.
But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. Matthew 19:22
Even if you have possessions, it doesn’t mean you are in the same boat as this man. A good disciple of Christ won’t allow their possessions to hinder their relationship with the Lord.
One final thought on this subject includes the very men who decided to replace Judas. Yes, the eleven apostles. On the night of Jesus’ arrest these men didn’t walk away, they ran.
Then all his disciples deserted him and ran away. One young man following behind was clothed only in a long linen shirt. When the mob tried to grab him, he slipped out of his shirt and ran away naked. Mark 14:50-52
Sometimes things happen to us or around us that look totally hopeless. Peter ended up lying about knowing Jesus. Fear overtook them as they all went into hiding.
Jesus, however, loved them and His call on their lives never changed. Those men ran away from Him in fear. Yet they became the backbone of the early church which we belong to today.
What must you do to be a good disciple of Christ?
- The Lord is looking for consistency and faithfulness.
- Those who will shun sin and live for righteousness.
- Not allow anything to hinder their relationship with God.
- No matter how bad the situation looks, trust the Lord.
Lord, I want to be a good disciple of Christ. Therefore help me to live consistently and faithfully in a way that promotes godliness
Check out this related post called Introducing The Unexpected Men Jesus made To Be Disciples. Also take a look at our cornerstone post on discipleship. Being A Disciple Of Jesus Makes Life Great
Check out some other posts written on chapters in the Book of Acts
- How To Continually Rely On The Grace Of God
- When You See A Miracle, Faith, & Repentance Work Together
- Hearing The Voice Of God Is Important
- The Holy Spirit Will Guide You In This Life
- Are You The Man Of God?
- The Paul And Felix Story In the Bible
To receive each new devotional post delivered to your inbox, subscribe below by giving us your first name and email address.
2 thoughts on “How To Be A Good Disciple Of Christ”
I’m not disputing your conclusions about – I suppose another way to put it is fruit over gifts.
Here’s my thoughts about your post.
The illustration you referred to was Judas’s replacement. But this was more specific than good discipleship. The eleven was after someone as an apostle. Of course they would meet your criteria but the job spec is interesting!
To throw a rock into the pool I feel the weight of scripture teaches that apostleship is a gift to the church from the ascended Christ. Some who in recent years claim to be apostles seem to end up as mini-popes, heading up quasi denominational organisations called ministries or streams. Maybe unintentionally. But I long for genuine apostles to meet the gift and fruit required in the ministry.
Meanwhile I know God is at work in me looking for fruit just as I look for apples on my mini-orchard in September!
Thanks for you input John