In Matthew 12.46-50, we find the story of Jesus’ family coming to visit him. Apparently Jesus was in a house speaking to a crowd of people. Someone called to him, “Look, your mother and your brothers are standing outside, wanting to speak to you.” How did Jesus reply? He pointed to his disciples and said, “Here are my mother and my brothers!” Notice what he said next: “For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.”
This tells us at least two things:
1-Relationship to Jesus is about following (does the will of my Father). We must actually live in a different way. And this is what draws us closer to God.
2-Jesus said: disciple = mother and brother and sisters
AND Jesus said: mother and brother and sisters = one who does the will of my Father in heaven. So, I conclude that one way to define a disciple is one who does the will of the Father.
This is a simple, yet profound test. Are you a disciple? Well, you are if you do the will of the Father. Are you living in the way that God would want you to live? Are you conforming your life more to the will of the Father? We are so used to making our own decisions and depending on our own judgment. What if we actually tried to do what God wanted us to do?
How do we do this? How do we even know what God wants us to do? This is another topic for another time, but I will say this. Jesus stayed in contact with God the Father–in communion. Jesus spent time in silence and solitude. Jesus was sensitive to God’s Spirit. God is a Person. Don’t wait for a list of rules. Listen to God. Talk to God. Let God talk to you.