Discipleship is first
Do you know those crazy days when you feel bombarded by many things, tasks, people and your ‘to-do’ list looks impossible? How can you accomplish all that is demanding your attention? How many times do end the day wishing the day was longer because we haven’t done what we thought was most pressing? Never think that days with Jesus on earth were quiet ones.
Look at these verses:
When Jesus went outside, the Pharisees and the teachers of the law began to oppose him fiercely and to besiege him with questions, waiting to catch him in something he might say. Meanwhile, when a crowd of many thousands had gathered, so that they were trampling on one another, Jesus began to speak first to his disciples …
Can you picture the scene?
Jesus leaves the house of the Pharisee having offended the religious who come chasing after him. Fiercely, besieging him with question after question. Luke writes skilfully helping us to see the pressure Jesus was under. The Pharisees and the teachers of the law were hoping Jesus might respond but he didn’t. They wanted to catch him out so these questions were as difficult as they could muster. Confrontation was demanding his attention but Jesus kept going.
At the same time as that, ‘meanwhile’ a crowd gathered, not a small one either, Luke says thousands and in fact it was becoming unruly and dangerous, people were getting hurt. The confrontation with the Pharisees and the experts would have to wait for surely the fact that people were in danger was far more pressing? The hysteria was filled with many hidden agendas, for example, one man would shout out later from the crowd about an argument with his brother over finances. History only repeats itself in telling us how self-centred people are.
So what is on your to-do list today? Some loud voices demanding attention and you know they are not going away? Is it the success of your life wanting more time from you? Are things needing to be done because they are getting out of hand?
Jesus began to speak first to his disciples …
- Choose that which follows God. You might need to see past the religious and the crowd for that.
- Choose who has a greater investment in you. The disciples had left everything for Jesus.
- Choose to disciple ‘on the hoof’ (meaning without proper preparation) in the chaos of life and not only in the classroom. Discipleship doesn’t need you to carry a flip chart of principles around with you.
- Choose discipleship first in your own life. This whole section from Luke starts with “One day Jesus was prayingin a certain place” 11:1 and will end at the end of chapter 13 with Jesus focused on Jerusalem “Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.” 13:35. Jesus pursued His Father and the will of His Father. That is discipleship at its core.
- Choose what comes second and third etc. If it’s not discipleship it may be important and it will get done, but it will be so that discipleship is further encouraged and built.