I’m continuing to “rake the coals.” The subject and emphasis on is becoming obscure— just like Jesus.” I suppose my main contention is this– our understanding of discipleship has too much “me, and not enough Him.”
When Jesus who was the fullness of God in bodily form came, He came as a lowly slave. We see Him stripping down, filling a basin, and scrubbing dirty feet. He actively made Himself a broken and humble servant. It was deliberate and conscious. Read Philippians 2. It will blow you away!
I think we learn this from Him. The disciple never exceeds his master. He made it very clear that we were to follow Him in this. It’s processed by us when we are very firmly aware that the One who knows us. To be loved by Him is enough (or is it?)
Exceptional effort is made by the Holy Spirit to help us understand. There is a repeated thought given to us in various permutations. In one of my favorite verses King David, standing in front of God, and his people, declared,
“But who am I, and who are my people, that we could give anything to you? Everything we have has come from you, and we give you only what you first gave us! 15 We are here for only a moment, visitors and strangers in the land as our ancestors were before us. Our days on earth are like a passing shadow, gone so soon without a trace.”
1 Chronicles 29:14-15, NLT
“We don’t remember what happened in the past, and in future generations, no one will remember what we are doing now.” This is the cheery assessment found in Ecclesiastes 1. This view irks us big time. Especially if we have invested so much in our wealth, gifts, experiences and accomplishments.
“Our days on earth are like grass; like wildflowers, we bloom and die. The wind blows, and we are gone— as though we had never been here.”
Psalm 103:15-16, NLT
In the New Testament, the emphasis is only stronger. Remember when James and John tried to get the corner on the authority and honor of being on “the right and left?” (My, but they were ambitious lads!)
“When the ten other disciples heard what James and John had asked, they were indignant. 42 So Jesus called them together and said, “You know that the rulers in this world lord it over their people, and officials flaunt their authority over those under them. 43 But among you it will be different. Whoever wants to be a leader among you must be your servant, 44 and whoever wants to be first among you must be the slave of everyone else. 45 For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many.”
Mark 10:41-45, NLT
There are two certain issues here:
- The first is authentic discipleship.
- The second is a decided and eager servanthood.
Both ideas are often missing in our churches, and in our teaching. Somehow we are not communicating the real transferable concepts. Their simplicity evades us.
I intend to return to this fairly soon. Again, I appreciate any constructive criticism, your own thinking on this, and your prayers.