Living the Purpose Driven Life
Prayer Meditation:  Apprentices
Saturday, 8 November 2003
As we think about discipleship, the word disciple itself might hide the full meaning of "discipleship."
The Greek word mathetes means learner or apprentice.  It is used not only for students of the Greek philosophers and child students of the Greek slave-tutors, but for apprentices of the arts and crafts like carpenters, sculptors, painters, architects.
Thus a "disciple" is an apprentice going through on-the-job training. The 12 primary disciples of Jesus were active workers in the ministry, learning Jesus' teachings, observing and doing what Jesus does.
Lord, I pray that your people will see life as on-the-job training apprenticeship in service to the Master, Jesus.
I must learn what Jesus said, I must do what Jesus did.  I must learn from the master, and practice what I am learning.  I must review it with the master, improve it by trying again.  This is the joyous pattern of life in grace, life with the master Teacher!
But how do we learn from him?  How are we to know what Jesus taught, how do we know what he is like? 
We must be intimately familiar with the Gospels, the stories of Jesus.  I must meet and engage Jesus as he teaches, observe the actions he performs, encounter the people he encounters, in the Gospel testimonies of his stories and teachings in Galilee. 
Lord, let me hear each gospel book as a whole story, not just a snippet I recall from Sunday school, plus an item I heard in last week's sermon, with a thought about Jesus from a radio program on the way to work.  Oh, God, let us not rewrite a slimmed down gospel from our meager, faulty memory of bits and pieces!
No!  We need a full portrayal of Jesus as a model.  We have four!  We should know each Gospel's rich story of Jesus.
I pray we may make the Gospels our primary source for our Followship of Jesus.  I pray each participant will encounter the fullness and amazing wonder of the powerful breakthrough of God into Human Life, in Jesus, his perfect revelation to us!
We need to know each gospel writer's full story of Jesus.  Oh, Lord, I want to rediscover, again and again, Jesus in the Gospels, to learn Jesus' words and events, to catch insights as the story flows in consistent unity from beginning to end.
Lord, let me hear each writer's story of Jesus as it is.  Thrill me again with the complete freshness, the beauty, the thrill of grace and the awesome challenges of encounters with the Master, Jesus of Nazareth!
The story is so rich, it should never grow old, if we are really sitting with Jesus, walking with Jesus, thinking about what he is telling us in the Gospel teachings.  Though comfortably familiar, it is freshly thrilling, as celebrated by the old song "Tell Me the Old, Old Story." 
Lord, open up to us the depth of those familiar stories in a way we have not heard, as we commit to take them seriously in a new, real and personal encounter with the revealed Jesus of the Gospels!
Lord, we commit to truly be your apprentices, to learn by doing as you teach us and show us.  We are your followers, be our LordWe are your apprentices, give us our assignments
Jesus said the Holy Spirit will remind us of his words.  We must know his words to be reminded
Lord, we commit to know the words -- and the deeds --  of Jesus, so we will understand better the model you are using to make us more like Jesus!
"As the Spirit of the Lord works within us, we become more and more like him and reflect his glory even more" (2 Cor. 3:18 NLT). 
Selah!  Amen!


Orville Boyd Jenkins, Ed.D., Ph.D.
Copyright © Orville Boyd Jenkins 2003
Permission granted for free download and transmission for personal or educational use. Other rights reserved.


Meditation 13
Purpose 3: Discipleship. "We are Created to Become Like Christ"