I was talking with some folks the other day about Jesus, and I had a curious thought: if we are Jesus’ disciples, what exactly are we supposed to do?
At our most pure state, it seems that we are supposed to be Jesus’ disciples. In Mark’s gospel, Jesus makes it (almost troublingly) clear that being a disciple means doing what he did.
In Mark chapter 6, we’re told that Jesus called the Twelve, and subsequently, “sent them out in pairs. He gave them authority over unclean spirits… So they went out and proclaimed that people should change their hearts and lives. They cast out many demons, and they anointed many sick people with olive oil and healed them” (vv7, 13).
The curious thing about this statement is that the things that Jesus sends the disciples out to do are the very things that he has been doing in Mark’s gospel. In Jesus’ mind, there’s no difference between the things that he does and his expectations for the Twelve.
This is pretty amazing when you think about their track record at this point. Rather than being the star pupils, at this point in the story of God the disciples are a little bit more like the odd kid in the back of the class who may or may not have been eating paste. They’re not exactly hitting it out of the park…
… And yet Jesus does not hesitate to send them out to…
- have authority over unclean spirits
- proclaim repentance
- cast out demons
- heal people.
The profound implication for this story is simply this:
Being a disciple of Jesus means doing the things that he does…
Whether or not you think you’re good enough…
These things constitute the short list of what Jesus expects us to do.
But then I got to thinking: what else did Jesus do? Maybe he expects us to do those things too.
So I took a brief survey of the gospels and just tried to look at the things that Jesus did. Some things he did in order to serve people; some thing he did in order to stay connected with his Father.
Over the next few weeks, I’m hoping to lay out some of those things, and see what we can learn from the way our master arranged his life.