Jul15WedJuly 15, 2020
Throughout Jesus’ public ministry, people, including the religious leaders, were constantly amazed as His teaching. One reason was that it carried with a particular weight – as if He had some authority to which the scribes (or religious professors) didn’t have access (Mark 1:22b). Another reason was because Jesus’ educational background was not like that of a common rabbi. He was known as a carpenter’s son. Therefore, when he taught some asked, “Where did he get this wisdom” (Matthew 13:54)?
Crowds were amazed and religious leaders were baffled as they heard the stark contrast between Jesus’ teaching and what was commonly preached in the synagogues and various rabbinic schools. In a culture where many Pharisees were too highly exalting tradition and scholarly scribes were slowly “relaxing” the authority of God’s written word in favor of their own interpretations, Jesus’ teaching cultivated quite a stir.
But perhaps one of the most controversial components of Jesus’ teaching, was that he occasionally encouraged his disciples to go and teach others as well. In Mathew 10, he sent them out to pray for needs and to talk about the kingdom of heaven. Then, in Luke 10, Jesus appointed seventy-two others to do something similar.
This may not sound scandalous to us in the twenty-first century, but inviting ordinary, uneducated people to be spiritual fishermen and itinerate missionaries was a huge deal! Jesus was bypassing the entire educational system in Jerusalem and inviting others into a great, mission-filled life which had been previously reserved for the religious elite and educated scholars.
Jesus continues to invite people of all ages and backgrounds into his movement of disciple-making. Sadly, so many consider themselves disqualified because they either haven’t attended a Bible college or still have unanswered questions about God’s Word. But if we look at Jesus’ ministry and the birth of the church in Acts, we’ll see that He used disciples from all walks of life who were humble, teachable and willing to be sent.
We don’t need to have all of the answers in order to point people to Jesus. Sometimes the best way to disciple another is by saying, “I don’t know, but let’s find out together!”
But let’s remember what we have been given. We have God’s written word and His indwelling Spirit.
If we are willing to become active followers of Jesus and humble students of Scripture, then we are invited to be:
...people who have spiritual conversations with friends;
...parents who read the Bible with their children;
...grandparents who teach songs about Jesus’ life;
...and neighbors who encourage others to consider Jesus’ powerful words.
Never forget that we have been given a tremendous invitation from the master teacher Himself.
May we humbly embrace the mission of disciple-making in order that our loved ones, and the world, may know that Jesus has authority over all! Amen!