September 22, 2015
After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
And so we come to the end of our Gospel of Mark journey.
I’ve read Mark a lot of times over the years, and every time I find Jesus disciples me even more in the ways of the Kingdom. Here’s my BIG TAKEAWAY THIS TIME.
One of the interesting things about all the Gospels is the way they end with a new beginning. Even more interesting is the way this new beginning is actually an invitation to go back to the beginning of the Gospel itself. The Gospel doesn’t launch us out with a “Been there. Done that. Got the T-Shirt” mentality. We don’t somehow graduate from the Gospel and head out on our own to do whatever seems best to us beyond that. We go forward to live into and out of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. They are the ongoing life long curriculum for our own discipleship. At the same time they serve as training for mission and evangelism and provide a textbook for discipling others in The Way.
It makes sense doesn’t it? The Gospels give us detailed and theologically loaded accounts of how Jesus discipled his disciples. We can be sure these documents continually guided the disciples in discipling the next generation of believers and so on and so on.
What if that’s the big problem with discipleship today; that we have gotten away from the Gospels as the core discipleship curriculum for the New Testament Church. Sure, we draw from them, but in the process we import the content into our own frameworks and to serve our own agendas. As biblical as those agendas may be, I’d say it’s impossible to be more biblical than the Bible itself. In other words, we can put all sorts of biblical stuff together to make disciples, but what if the Holy Spirit has put it together just like Jesus wants it in the Gospels themselves? What if the point is not only their content but their framework, format and flow? What if biblical discipleship means the Gospels themselves are our curriculum rather than extracting biblical principles from them for discipleship? Do you see the difference?
Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.
What if we don’t so much see the “signs” that accompany the Gospel these days because we’ve gotten off track in the way we make disciples? What would it mean to disciple people not only with the content of the Gospel message but the context of the Gospels and the very way they unfold.
SPIRIT OF THE LIVING GOD, FALL AFRESH ON ME.
NOTE TO COMMUNITY: 121 days later our journey through the Gospel of Mark has come to a close and what a journey it has been. I want to thank you for walking this way with me. Tomorrow we will dive into 1 Corinthians and work our way through until we get to the beginning of Advent in late November. As always, please invite friends and family to join us.
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J.D. Walt writes daily for Seedbed’s Daily Text. He serves as Seedbed’s Sower in Chief. Follow him @jdwalt on Twitter or email him at email@example.com. Get the Daily Text delivered to your inbox fresh every morning. Subscribe HERE.