Thursday, June 9, 2016

Touching Base, Part 309

12 Jun 16
Discipleship - The Life of Being an Apprentice

Whole Heart for the Whole Gospel, Pt 2:
Don’t Be A Dodo!

This is a useful tool for small group discussion, personal reflection or in a one-on-one conversation. We believe that if the Sunday teaching in this series is discussed outside the morning services, it will be an opportunity to go deeper and build community because God's Word needs to be discussed in community.

Read the following and discuss.

In Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland, the Dodo organized something called a "caucus race." First it marked out a race-course, in a sort of circle ("the exact shape doesn't matter," it said), and then all the party were placed along the course, here and there. There was no "One, two, three, and away," but they began running when they liked, and left off when they liked, so that it was not easy to know when the race was over. However, when they had been running half-an-hour or so, and were quite dry again, the Dodo suddenly called out, "The race is over!" and they all crowded round it, panting, and asking, "But who has won?" This question the Dodo could not answer without a great deal of thought, and it sat for a long time with one finger pressed upon its forehead, (the position in which you usually see Shakespeare, in the pictures of him), while the rest waited in silence. At last the Dodo said "Everybody has won, and all must have prizes. "
(Winning on Purpose, Chapter 4)

Ever been a dodo?
Where does life for you feel a little like this race these days?

In our second part of looking at the 4th mark of a disciple, Fully Committed to the Whole Gospel for the Whole World”, we looked at how the Gospel represents the clear win for the church. In other words the Church in is to resemble Dodo’s race in no way at all - there is a clear win, goal, and finish line. We know when we have hit the bull’s eye and when we have missed.

How do we see what the clear win is for the church? Answer:
The win is clearly seen by what Jesus was empowered and appointed to do,
and what He empowers and appoints us to do.

Look again at last week’s text, Luke 4:18,19


What does this text say about empowerment?
Why would Jesus, of all people, need empowerment?

Note the two stories that bookend this synagogue announcement - what does this say about the need for empowerment?

More importantly what does Philippians 2:6-8 say about Christ’s need for empowerment?
“As God He had all the rights of deity, and yet during His incarnate state He surrendered His right to manifest Himself visibly as the God of all splendour and glory.”

In other words Jesus modeled for us the Spirit-filled life. He needed to be empowered because of his human state.


What does this text say about Jesus appointment?
Being “anointed” means to be set aside for a clear purpose, task or responsibility.

Bottom line: There was nothing “dodo-like” regarding Jesus’ ministry. With laser-like focus Jesus initiated his ministry, and accomplished his mission. Check out John 17 for the sense of accomplishment of the mission.

Now note the parallel.

Read Matthew 28:18-20.

Three years later in a very different context, Jesus empowers the disciples.  In v.18b - Jesus in that resurrected state has all authority (the official right and power), a place of highest honor. See Phil 4:9-11.

In that authoritative state he empowers the disciples. They were to go on the basis of his authority. Check out v.20b.

In Luke 4, Jesus depended on empowerment because he set aside aspects of his deity. Why did the disciples need empowerment? (Yes, the mission would be hard, check out Acts 1:8, but there is something about their nature, the fundamentals of who they are as people, that cries out for their need for empowerment). Remember they had not too long ago fled, floundered and flopped as disciples!

What is it about your story that reminds you of your need of empowerment?

The great truth of the gospel (good news) is not only does it embrace the lowliest and most marginalized, but it is announced and declared by people that are also in much need of grace! I am just a person in need of God’s grace telling another person where they can find grace!


Finally, just as Jesus in Luke 4 was clearly appointed for a mission, likewise the appointment of the disciples for mission is clear!

V.19 “make disciples”- is in the imperative mood and anchors the main clause of the sentence. Going, baptizing and teaching are the actions that accompany making disciples.

Note that it says to “teach everything I have commanded”. In other words, they have heard and seen Jesus carry out this mission.

On Sunday I listed a number of things that they would have concluded about making disciples because as apprentices they saw and heard Jesus make disciples. What would they have concluded about making disciples?

How different does Jesus ministry and the disciples ministry look in comparison to Dodo’s race?

The win is clearly seen by what Jesus was empowered and appointed to do and what He empowers and appoints us to do.

Questions for discussion.
1.    How does your life group contribute to the task of making disciples?
2.    How can or does God use your story to help you make disciples?
3.    Is there a particular demographic that you feel called to in making disciples?
4.    Finish this sentence, “We at Bethel Church make disciples by…”

Don’t be a dodo!

Mark Kotchapaw

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