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Three things Jesus does that we don’t do

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G.K. Chesterton said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” But what does that mean? Frankly, the word “Christian” itself seems to mean someone who prayed a prayer of salvation once, but whose life hasn’t cha…
By Seth Barnes
G.K. Chesterton said, “The Christian ideal has not been tried and found wanting. It has been found difficult; and left untried.” But what does that mean? Frankly, the word “Christian” itself seems to mean someone who prayed a prayer of salvation once, but whose life hasn’t changed much.
 
What if being a Christian meant trying to follow Jesus as his disciples followed him – how would our lives be different?
 
If we look at Jesus in Luke 9, we see him do three things with his disciples that you don’t see often in the modern day.
 

1. He fishes for people

He finds out if they are a “goer” or not (more on that here). A goer is a person willing to go all-in for the kingdom. A person willing to be trained (if his disciples took at least three years, maybe that’s a good starting place).

In Luke 9:57-62 you can see Jesus vetting three would-be disciples to see if they are goers. They have other priorities, so Jesus moves on.

2. He models behavior

He prays for miracles and they happen – healing them, feeding the 5,000, casting out demons, and meeting God on a mountain (all in Luke 9).

He also prays in private and challenges them. Jesus teaches his disciples on the hoof, exposing them to conflict and putting them in harm’s way so they can learn from his example.

3. He activates them 

Jesus sends them out as his representatives. Luke 9:1-6 (more here and here and here). He says “Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra shirtIf people do not welcome you, leave their town and shake the dust off your feet… So they set out and went from village to village, proclaiming the good news and healing people everywhere.”

*     *     *     *

Have you seen these three things done in churches you’ve been a part of? If so, you are fortunate. In many churches, there is no opportunity to watch leaders set an example in real life and we don’t ever get activated.

Compared to our current model of discipleship, Jesus’ way looks radical. He summarizes his way in Luke 9:23-27

“Anyone who intends to come with me has to let me lead. You’re not in the driver’s seat—I am. Don’t run from suffering; embrace it. Follow me and I’ll show you how. Self-help is no help at all. Self-sacrifice is the way, my way, to finding yourself, your true self. What good would it do to get everything you want and lose you, the real you?”

Are you a disciple of Jesus? A disciple is one who does what he did – an all-in goer. And every goer deserves his or her own Matthew 10 experience.”

“That’s not practical,” you may say. “People have too many options these days.” And it’s true, most people may not be interested or just not prepared to commit. So let’s do what Jesus did and focus on the goers.

Maybe you didn’t get this growing up. But don’t your children deserve better? Don’t they deserve to be discipled following the Matthew 10 example?

Do we want our kids to follow Christ? The Luke 9/Matthew 10 experience is just the beginning of a three-year journey he wants to give them. 

It won’t be easy, but it’s the narrow path that Jesus gave us. And those of us who would give such an experience to our children and to their friends need to probably go on one ourselves so that we can give young people something to imitate.

If you’ve never been on one, why not ask God what that might look like?

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