The Details of Discipleship
“And He was stating the matter plainly. . . .” Mark 8:32
It is God who is always within us, however, we don’t always realize how or where He is working. One thing is for sure, God knows what He is doing.
Through their every moment together, Jesus had been continually teaching the disciples – as they traveled, in daily encounters of tension and trials, and through regular hands-on experiences. More often than not, they had failed to put the pieces together of Jesus’ identity and His connection to their lives.
We must never make the mistake of thinking that only heroic and awe-inspiring events can teach us great lessons. Discipleship is always in the details.
Peter had delivered a stunningly perceptive and theologically accurate confession of Jesus’ identity only to flunk miserably in trusting Jesus’ plan to be the Messiah.
The lesson here is ours to learn. It is possible for any of us to say all the right things spiritually, and still miss the mark in real life.
Discipleship is not a quick or easy pursuit. It is developed in the details. Discipleship is like a puzzle that takes a lifetime to assemble. Every piece, though small, is significant, and we will never see the picture until we begin the process of fitting the pieces side by side.
Fortunately, we don’t work the puzzle by ourselves. In the life of a disciple, Jesus moves the pieces around, through repeated life experiences, until slowly the pieces begin to connect. And then, one day, there is progress – we make the connection, we get a glimpse of the picture. The ultimate connection is that of belief and behavior. Jesus wanted to know if His disciples had linked His ability to feed the multitudes, to Him controlling their storms. Belief and behavior are essential.
Every disciple needs to know theologically who Jesus is, and His plan for the salvation of the world, the nature of doing the ministry of discipling others, as well as what is required to live devoutly in the details of life. Without connecting belief to behavior, we will be in danger of drifting. Discipleship remains a theory, until it is developed in the details of one’s life.
“This day, Lord Jesus, heighten my sensitivity to Your work in the details of my life, help me to be alert and aware of the pieces You are giving me to enlarge my image of You.”