Teachings of Jesus on Discipleship
Lesson #8: Be Watchful

 

  by: Bill Bratt         Email: info@icogsfg.org

  A disciple is a person who subscribes to the teachings of a master and assists in spreading his teachings. A Christian is a person who is a disciple of Jesus Christ, who is our master, and the disciple has a strong desire in spreading Jesusí teachings and His message of the gospel of the kingdom of God.

Jesus had much to say about how manís deeds are evil and their lives are filled with adultery (Luke 11:29, John 3:19, Matthew 12:39). We can see much evil in our society today and it influences us. Our personal problems and the cares of this world can take our minds off of God. We are immersed in this world, its ways and customs and it separates us from God. Even Jesusí disciples had this problem. At the most crucial time in Jesusí life, after the Passover service He observed with His disciples, in the hours just before He was beaten and then crucified for all of our sins - the disciples fell asleep. Letís look at what happened: "Then Jesus came with them to a place called Gethsemane, and said to the disciples, "Sit here while I go and pray over there." {37} And He took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and He began to be sorrowful and deeply distressed. {38} Then He said to them, "My soul is exceedingly sorrowful, even to death. Stay here and watch with Me." {39} He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will." {40} Then He came to the disciples and found them asleep, and said to Peter, "What? Could you not watch with Me one hour? {41} "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak." {42} Again, a second time, He went away and prayed, saying, "O My Father, if this cup cannot pass away from Me unless I drink it, Your will be done." {43} And He came and found them asleep again, for their eyes were heavy. {44} So He left them, went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words. {45} Then He came to His disciples and said to them, "Are you still sleeping and resting? Behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of sinners. {46} "Rise, let us be going. See, My betrayer is at hand"" (Matthew 26:36-46).

Notice that in verse 38 and 40 Jesus admonished His disciples to "watch." What were they to watch? In verse 41 Jesus told them to: "Watch and pray, lest you enter into temptation."

The lesson that Jesus was giving His disciples was that they were to watch their spiritual condition. Prayer is a spiritual must in drawing close to God and resisting the temptations of Satan the Devil (James 4:7-8). We need to study Godís word, the Bible, to show ourselves approved unto God, rightly dividing the word of truth (2 Timothy 2:15). Godís word is like a spiritual mirror that displays the right way to live.

Seek Godís Kingdom

The good news message that Jesus came to the earth to deliver was the "gospel of the kingdom of God" (Mark 1:1,14). Jesus gave many parables and the underlying theme involved the "kingdom of God." Letís notice Jesusí instruction to "watch" in the following passage: ""But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you. {32} "Do not fear, little flock, for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. {33} "Sell what you have and give alms; provide yourselves money bags which do not grow old, a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches nor moth destroys. {34} "For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. {35} "Let your waist be girded and your lamps burning; {36} "and you yourselves be like men who wait for their master, when he will return from the wedding, that when he comes and knocks they may open to him immediately. {37} "Blessed are those servants whom the master, when he comes, will find watching. Assuredly, I say to you that he will gird himself and have them sit down to eat, and will come and serve them. {38} "And if he should come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. {39} "But know this, that if the master of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not allowed his house to be broken into. {40} "Therefore you also be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect"" (Luke 12:31-40).

Jesus told His disciples, His "little flock", about being prepared for His return and the coming of the "kingdom of God." The lesson we need to learn from this is that doing Godís will consistently and without interruption is the best preparation for Jesusí return.

We are to "watch" for His return. The second coming of Jesus Christ will take most of the people in this world by complete surprise. But those who are called by God (John 6:44), who have repented (Mark 1:15) and are converted need not be caught unaware, if we are watching the signs in the world around us. Watch world events and be aware of the signs of the times. Study your Bible and learn about prophecy. Jesus gave an outline of prophecy to His disciples on Mount Olivet which is recorded in Matthew 24. He also revealed many prophecies to the apostle John in the book of Revelation.

In Conclusion: To watch is to be alert, awake, on guard, attentive and vigilant. Jesus admonished His disciples to be watchful: "Watch therefore, and pray always that you may be counted worthy to escape all these things that will come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man" (Luke 21:36). The lesson that Jesus wants us to learn is to watch and be prepared so that when He returns, we will be ready and we can rule with Him in the kingdom of God and be with Him forever (1 Thes. 5:17).



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