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,
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
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
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
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 Lord! We 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
Orville Boyd Jenkins,
Copyright © Orville Boyd Jenkins 2003
Permission granted for free download and transmission for personal or educational use. Other rights reserved.
Purpose 3: Discipleship. "We are Created to Become Like