What really, really makes a true disciple of Yeshua?
Providing a satisfactory answer to the following question may be more complex than one would think at first sight. Of course, the simple fact of claiming to be a disciple doesn’t make you a true disciple!
The stating point is your heart (לב), lev in Hebrew. In Hebrew, the heart refers to a wider concept than in Western culture. It is truly the seat of your thoughts, emotions and feelings. Everything proceeds from this very place in Hebrew culture.
So your intent must be good and your thoughts like pure water.
אישׁ טוב מאוצר לבו הטוב מוציא את הטוב ואישׁ רע מאוצר הרע מוציא רע
“A good man, from the storehouse of his heart, brings forth the good.
The evil man, from the storehouse of evil, brings forth evil” Matthew 12:35 Delitzsch Hebrew Gospels
If we look at Matthew 12:35 and the whole paragraph that englobes Yeshua’s thought, we will probably consider that we must mind our words-which is absolutely true.
Brian Simmons, a pastor based in Panama, offers an interesting translation of Matthew 12:35 to his readers. I discovered it while being in Israel, as his translation of Matthew was available inside of a Messianic shop in Tiberias as a free gift.
“When virtue is stored within the hearts of the good and upright people will produce good fruit.
But when evil is hidden within, those who are evil will produce evil fruit” (Brian Simmons, Passion translation, Gospel of Matthew) Matthew 12:35
If it is true that all intent proceeds from the heart, we are also meant to trust that Yeshua can and will transform our hearts as we become totally committed to following Him.
This attitude is, of course, intimately linked with faith.
However, how does one notice that our fruits are good?
“By their fruit you will know them. Do they gather grapes from thorns or figs from thistles?” Matthew 7:16
Well, the Book of proverbs also states:
Our actions are a second indicator that we are taking the right way. Our daily actions speak for themselves.
Some people are convinced that their actions will bring them Salvation. This is a TOTAL distortion of Scriptures. I have observed much boasting about “righteous actions” from people who kept defining themselves as “righteous”.
One must be aware of the following rule of wisdom. Yeshua is the ONLY Savior. We are, thus, saved by His grace only. None of your actions will ever save you, no matter how hard you will be trying!
On the other hand, if you are a true disciple, you will be committed to applying our rabbi’s teachings. As a consequence, your fruits will be good.
How much do you love and value Yeshua? To what extent is your heart committed to following Him?
If you truly love Yeshua, it will be shown in your daily actions. Yes, your actions will speak louder than your lips and your light will shine before others.
Of course, you will make mistakes, but you will always grab enough energy to do our Messiah’s will.
Last point to remember:
Boasting about your ” righteous actions” is ALSO “bad fruit”!
The true tzaddik doesn’t call himself “righteous”. He will follow in humbleness and let others appreciate.
Boasting is OF THE DEVIL, because it is honoring yourself instead of giving glory to the Master.
The true disciple is loving and obedient, and willing to resemble Yeshua in his thoughts and actions. Faith and actions go hand in hand with true discipleship.
Copyright© by Isabelle Esling