“Learn from me.”
Matthew 11:29 (Common English Bible)
Building disciples of Jesus Christ – people, who voluntarily submit to the Lordship of Christ that results in the decision to learn from Christ, follow his example and participate in his ministry – is the will of God. This is God’s ideal purpose. It is this purpose that believers attach themselves in baptism. The difficulty for some believers is that they haven’t employed a helpful method to advance in the school of Christ. Their study is disorderly and usually results in failure. They rarely seem to rise above the rudiments of the spiritual journey and remain disillusioned by their lack of spiritual progress. Jesus’ own life and ministry provides help; provides the secret of learning that, when applied to our discipleship to Christ, produces fruit in the striving toward spiritual maturity.
If, then, we would learn of Christ, we must begin with the words he spoke. The twelve disciples who followed Jesus throughout his three-year ministry heard his words spoken to them. Today, those who follow Christ have those spoken words recorded in the four Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. So, we begin where the original twelve disciples began; we Read the words of Jesus. With the spirit of inquisitiveness, we read deeply the words of Jesus, alert to those qualities and values that shaped his character and revealed his laser-like focus on being useful to God. There is simply no substitute for reading Christ’s words if we are to pass from stage to stage in the school of Christ.
Then let us pause sufficiently to Reflect on what we have read. Knowledge of Jesus’ words without application is inadequate. The object here is to grasp the light of Christ’s teaching and cast it before our footsteps. Christ’s teaching to the disciples was always followed by a measure of explanation, challenging the disciples to apply the ideals and principals to immediate life. We don’t ask nearly enough of those questions that move us from one step to another in our forward march in the school of Christ. Today we are helped by many fine devotionals and scholarly commentaries that probe deeply into the meaning and practical application of Jesus’ words. Select a trusted devotional guide for processing the truth of Christ’s teaching and it’s usefulness for our lives.
Respond! We shall never really know Christ, as he desires to be known, until we begin to respond to what we have grasped of his teaching. Until Christ’s teaching becomes instruction for daily practice, our lives remain unchanged. We study a musical instrument so that we may enjoy the music that we bring from it. We study another language to enrich our knowledge, enjoyment and appreciation of another culture. A musical instrument never played and another language never spoken has no effect upon our lives. Similarly, only in our obedient response to Jesus’ teachings does the beauty of our Savior’s instruction grow upon our lives. Read, Reflect and Respond. This is Jesus’ method for advancing in The School of Christ.