I send out a weekly leadership devotional to some key leaders/teachers in our church. I thought I'd post this one here as well. Too often we become inundated with information and fail to allow God to form us more into his people.
I like Jesus, don't you? Here's this lawyer who wants a clear explanation of Jesus' teaching. This is a good and right request to a rabbi. Before, I consider taking your 'yoke' (a way of saying that you are a disciple of a certain rabbi), you should know what he teaches. And Jesus, He's a good teacher. He starts it off with the Book and sums up the Law with the Commands to love God and neighbor, which is pretty standard stuff...
But then he brings in the HOOK...a powerful story that has as its hero a Samaritan...a good for nothing half breed that was viewed by many as worse than the unbeliever, because they had the promise and then threw it away and married non-Jews. Jesus teaches to love beyond cultural barrier, to love beyond social norms, and to love beyond our own justifications.
But then he hits home. "Go and Do Likewise." Four words that shake the foundations of the Jewish world! (and our world too?) Four words that would make the lawyer distinct from the rest of the world. (And make us distinct too?) Four words that make "Orthodoxy" (Right Belief) into "Orthopraxy" (Right Practice)
Too many times we try to pour information into the people we lead and teach. That if they know the Bible more, or know of God more, or know of the cultural setting of the Bible more, that they will follow Christ more. Yet Jesus has challenged this (and us?)...Forget Information...Embrace Transformation. Don't just hear the words that sum up the Law...Go and Do Likewise!
I will close with a quote from Mark Batterson, "Most of us are educated far beyond our level of obedience. We don't need another sermon. We don't need another service..." We need to go and do likewise!
May you be a catalyst to your people engaging in meaningful ministry to the world. And may you assist in the making of disciples for the transformation of the world!