Luke 6:39-49 by Pastor Dan Walker
Jesus has much to teach us about what it means to be His disciple. Many people claim to be Christians or disciples of Jesus. Yet, we must learn from Jesus how to answer the question "who is a disciple"? How does a disciple relate to others? How can you distinguish true from false disciples? How does a true disciple relate to Jesus? Discover how to discern whether yourself or others you know are true disciples of Jesus.
Duration:36 mins 7 secs

This morning, we’re going to address the question, Who is a Disciple of Jesus today? This is a very important question to answer. According to the Bible, a true disciple of Jesus is a follower of the Lord Jesus. A disciple of Jesus is someone who is saved and has eternal life. The question of who is a disciple of Jesus needs to first of all be asked of ourselves. Am I a disciple of Jesus?

2 Corinthians 13:5 (ESV) Examine yourselves, to see whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Or do you not realize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you?—unless indeed you fail to meet the test!

Why examine yourself? There are many who think they are disciples of Jesus, but are not. Realizing that you are not Jesus’ disciple is the first step to becoming one. Many think they are disciples because they go to church, read the Bible or like some of the things that Jesus taught. God’s Word clearly tells us how to become a disciple of Jesus. We’ll give you an opportunity to make sure you are Jesus’ disciple at the end of the service.

Not only should we examine ourselves, we are to ask the question of those around us. Are they disciples of Jesus? There are three possible answers to the question. The first is Yes, someone is a true disciple of Jesus. The second answer is No, someone is a false disciple of Jesus. A false disciple is someone who claims to be Jesus’ disciple, but is not. Finally, there are those who don’t claim to be a disciple and are not.

1 John 4:1 (ESV) Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, for many false prophets have gone out into the world.

Behind every person, there is a spirit. Within every true disciple of Jesus is the Holy Spirit. Guiding the lives of every false disciple or non-disciple are evil spirits. Why do we need to discern whether others of Jesus’ true disciples? Because it will help us to interact with them in the way God desires. Thos are true disciples of Jesus, we treat as brothers and sisters in Christ. Those who are false disciples or follow other religions, we seek to win to Christ and are beware of their teaching.

70% of people in America claim to be Christians or disciples of Jesus. Only 25% of people in America are practicing Christians who agree that their faith is very important and attended church in the past month. Undoubtedly, true disciples are only a fraction of that 25% of practicing Christians. Today, we want to learn more from Jesus about who is a disciple?

How does a true disciple relate to others?

Luke 6:39 (ESV) He also told them a parable: “Can a blind man lead a blind man? Will they not both fall into a pit?

All of Jesus’ teaching today relates to disciples. A disciple is someone who follows someone else. If a disciple follows a blind man, he will end up falling into a pit. A disciple of Jesus follows Jesus first and foremost. To follow anyone other than Jesus is folly.

Yet, Paul encouraged believers to follow him as he followed Christ. So, although a disciple is to follow Jesus first and foremost, God has put teachers, pastors and prophets into our lives to guide us as well. We must be sure that these people are not spiritually blind, but lead us toward Jesus. When God calls us as disciples to lead others closer to Jesus, we must lead as people who have spiritual insight and are not blind.

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

This saying is very similar to the first one that we’ve just looked at. Whoever you listen to, whoever or whatever teaches you, you become like. You cannot learn from a false teacher and expect to not be negatively impacted. In today’s world, teachers are not just people you listen to in person. Teachers are everything and everyone we listen to, watch or spend time with. Who you spend time with in person, on your phone, in books, in videos, you will become like. So, be careful who you allow to teach you.

The common statement that is made “I can watch or read anything and it doesn’t affect me” is false. You become like whatever or whoever you allow to teach you. So, be careful what you allow into your eyes and ears. Be fully trained by Jesus and His true disciples.

Luke 6:41-42 (ESV) Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,’ when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother’s eye.

These next verses speak to how Jesus’ disciples are to interact with and lead others. It’s so easy to criticize small failings of others, but ignoring our own bigger failings. As Jesus’ disciples, we are to make sure that removing our own logs before we help others with their specks. In fact, if we stayed busy working on our own logs with Jesus’ help, we would be better off ignoring other’s specks.

God’s Word tells us that love overlooks a multitude of faults. God has not called us to point out everyone else’s small shortcomings. We should be first and foremost concerned with following Jesus ourselves. Jesus desires to help us as His disciples to grow in our relationships.

Let’s take some time to talk about Jesus’ statement that everyone who is fully trained will be like his teacher. Who are your teachers? That’s an important question to answer. Your teachers are whoever or whatever you listen to, talk to or watch on a regular basis. We have more communication channels and teachers available to us than anyone else in the history of the world. This can be an avenue for blessings or a pathway to curses.

The teaching and ideas of the enemies can be so enticing, especially when it seems everyone is following them. Yet, we must evaluate our teachers with God’s Word. We must use the communication channels that God has blessed us with to learn about Jesus and grow closer to Him. Beware of false teachers who claim to be disciples, but teach otherwise. So, let’s look more closely at …

How can you distinguish true from false disciples?

Luke 6:43 (ESV) “For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit,

So, we have good trees and bad trees, which correspond to true disciples and false disciples. The nature of the tree determines what kind of fruit it bears. What is the fruit that disciples bear? The fruit is the words and actions that a person produces with their lives. Good fruit are things that are done according to God’s will and for Jesus that have eternal significance. Bad fruit things that are opposed to God and His kingdom, done for selfish purposes.

Luke 6:44 (ESV) for each tree is known by its own fruit. For figs are not gathered from thornbushes, nor are grapes picked from a bramble bush.

Thornbushes and bramble bushes are bad trees, they do not produce good fruit. Why does Jesus teach these things which seem so obvious? Because many people forget these principles. They think that they are going to get good fruit from someone who is a bad tree, a false disciple. Never happens.

Luke 6:45 (ESV) The good person out of the good treasure of his heart produces good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure produces evil, for out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks.

Now Jesus shows us that the good tree is a good person, whose heart is right with the Lord. Out of that good heart, good things, honoring to God come. An evil person, a false disciple, has evil in their hearts and his life produces evil. The good or evil comes out invariably through the words of a person’s mouth.

There are only two types of people in the world, good people who are true disciples and evil people who are false disciples. The good news is that evil people can become good people by believing in Jesus. You can distinguish between true and false disciples by the fruit of their lives.

This applies to us as disciples of Jesus. As you walk with Jesus, He will help you to bear good fruit in your life for Him. If some bad fruit comes out, we need to take a look at our hearts and seek forgiveness. We also need to be fruit inspectors of the trees around us. As we talked about before these trees are people, either in person, or virtually in a multitude of ways.

Spend your time with good tree people and you will receive treasure from them. What about bad tree people who produce bad fruit? Your purpose in life is not to be influenced by them, but to influence them for Jesus. We want them to see the good fruit of your life and be drawn to Jesus through it.

Be careful around bad tree people, especially those who think they are good trees but are not. How can you tell? The Bible tells us what good fruit is and what truth is. God will help you distinguish between true and false disciples.

How does a true disciple relate to Jesus?

Luke 6:46 (ESV)  “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

In today’s Scripture, Jesus is still speaking to a vast multitude. Some of which were His disciples and some were not. Apparently there were many who thought they were disciples and called Him Lord, but there was a problem. The problem was that even though they called Jesus Lord, they did not obey Him. Now, that doesn’t make any sense when you think about it. If Jesus is your Lord, that means you are to obey what He tells you to do. If you don’t obey, then He is not your Lord. Jesus goes on to tell a story which illustrates His point.

Luke 6:47-48 (ESV) Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like: he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.

Jesus begins by giving us an illustration of a true disciple. The true disciple comes to Jesus, listens to Him and then does what Jesus tells Him to do. That disciple is like a man who built his house on a rock. The rock represents the foundation of God’s Word. The foundation is laid through obedience. After the house was guild, a violent storm and flood came, but the house built on the rock stood firm.

Luke 6:49 (ESV) But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

The false disciple actually came to Jesus and listened to Him, just like the true disciple. By looking at them in the crowd, you could not have told them apart. The difference between the true and false disciple is that the false disciple did not obey what Jesus told him to do. He just carried on his life as he had before he heard Jesus’ words. Without obedience, the house or life of the false disciple had no firm foundation. When the storms of life came, his house and life were destroyed. He had came to Jesus, listened to Him, called Him Lord, but had not obeyed. Thought He was a believer, but ended up in eternal destruction. The distinguishing mark of a true disciple is that they obey Jesus.

Let’s talk some more about how we can grow in obeying Jesus. What are some ways that Jesus teaches us? One way is by learning about God’s Word at church or in a small group. Learning about God’s Word is important and is part of obedience. Yet, if we learn and then never apply that Word, never put it into practice, we haven’t obeyed, have we.

There are many different things that God may be calling you to obey from today’s message. Perhaps, you’ve been listening to some teachers that are bearing bad fruit and negatively impacting your life. Obedience would be to eliminate those teachers from your life. Perhaps you have a critical attitude that tends to point out other’s small faults. Obedience would be to ask Jesus to help you focus on improving your own faults, rather than others.

Maybe you haven’t been listening enough to Jesus to put His words into practice. Obedience would be to put daily reading the Bible and going to small group into your schedule. A true disciple obeys Jesus.