Jesus is now set on journey to Jerusalem to complete the purpose for which He came. As He sets out on this final phase of His earthly ministry He is committed to guiding the disciples in understanding not only that He is the Son of God but that His kingdom will be established by way of the cross. They, and we, must understand this in order to understand the path of true discipleship and the power of profound servanthood in everyday life.
As I watch my children grow and experience the bittersweet frustration of needing to repeat things over and over and over again only to have them still not get it, I am struck by how similar this is to our spiritual growth, at least my spiritual growth. Through the years I have heard these stories of men and women who have walked into a closet with God, left their sin behind, and came out never to struggle with that particular thing again. Those are great stories, but I can’t relate to that. My path to maturity has been much more like my children’s journey to remembering that the first thing we do when we get in the car is buckle in. I have been repeating it for years and wouldn’t you know it – I still have to repeat it or the seatbelts won’t get buckled. I feel like a broken record and I wonder if my voice is just on some frequency that isn’t registering. Of course then suddenly it happens. It’s like a light goes on and they get it and when they get it I really never have to say it again. Those are glorious days – and when we finally ‘get it’ in some area spiritually it must be glorious for God too.
I was wondering if this was just a ‘me’ thing, but then I started thinking about the 3 years of ministry Jesus spent with His disciples. Talk about a group of guys who heard it and saw it over and over and over again and yet just didn’t get it. It’s kind of funny to hear Jesus say things like, how long have been with me and still you aren’t getting it. That’s a paraphrase of course but it captures Jesus’ message. I relate to the disciples in that way, but I also want to relate to the disciples when they finally did get it, because when they got it, man did they get it. That is one of the many things I love about the book of Acts. The disciples finally get it and the church spreads like wildfire.
I know there are areas right now in my life that Jesus just keeps repeating…the first thing you do is…and I’m just not getting it. But the day is going to come, and watching my kids is just an encouragement that just as I am patient with them and willing to repeat and keep molding and shaping until they can walk on their own two feet, God will continue to do the same with me. He’s OK with the crock pot journey of spiritual growth rather than the microwave – and you know, I am too.