Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. – John 12:26
The unique thing about Jesus and his call to “follow me” is that he went to the disciples. He didn’t wait for the best of the best to come to him and then qualify them to some superhuman standard. No! He went out to some ordinary fishermen and simply invited them to, “Follow Me.” Of course they dropped their nets and followed him. They had given up any hope that anyone would ever call them out, consider them the best, and affirm that they could be like their master. And yet, that is exactly what Jesus did. He took a rag tag, second class group of young men and said, “I believe in you. I believe you can do what I do. I believe you can become what I am.” That is Jesus’ invitation to you and me today! “I’ll take you just the way you are. Follow me.”
Jesus wants you to follow him 24/7. He wants you to walk in his footsteps. He is not calling you to the same path that every follower of Jesus will walk. Yes, there are standards of truth that apply to everyone. However, your life is unique before God, and your path is yours and yours alone. Where God will choose to lead you and how God chooses to use your life cannot be predicted by how God has worked in the lives of others before you. He has simply called you to follow in his footsteps.
Jesus believes that you can do what he did and become what he is. It doesn’t matter what you think you do or don’t bring to the table. What matters is that the Lord of Lords and King of Kings believes you can. Your job isn’t to try and figure out “why me?” It is simply to give yourself over completely to following him. Being a disciple of Jesus doesn’t mean you have to be perfect. Instead, it means you desire to give all you have to the process of becoming like the perfect one.
An indicator of a good disciple in Jesus’ day was that he was really dirty. Paved roads didn’t exist and no one walked around cleaning up after the animals that also traversed the same roads. Travel was dusty and dirty. At days end a disciple would be covered with dust the rabbi kicked up, not to mention the other stuff. That is why the saying arose “May you be covered in the dust of your master.” The saying is more of a blessing really. This was the highest mark of a disciple. He walked so closely behind his teacher that he was caked with what the teacher kicked up.
Becoming a Dusty Disciple is not about getting good and clean. It’s not about believing the right things or having the right kind of knowledge. It’s about following Jesus so closely you get dirty from the dust he kicks up. Becoming a Dusty Disciple is about being transformed into the image of Jesus Christ in an authentic, countercultural, inside-out, uncomfortable way.
May you be covered in the dust of the Master.