How perfect are our disciples?
Let me ask you a question: What was Jesus after in his disciples? What types of people got to hang around with him? Who followed Jesus? Duffy Robbins compiled this list from the New Testament. Read these and ask yourself which is most important to be a true follower of Jesus (just for fun rate them one to ten, one being low and ten being high):
________ Careful student of the Scriptures
________ Zealous and active in their stand for God
________ Appetite for worship and prayer
________ Consistent in worship attendance
________ Practices scripture memorization
________ Not afraid of public prayer
________ Active in affairs of the local church
________ Fasts regularly
________ Has a desire to stand against blasphemy and ungodliness
________ Has a firm grasp on basic, foundational theological truths
(Robbins The Ministry of Nurture 1990, 54)
Imagine if you were to rate yourself one to ten on these qualities. It is lists like these that make us feel inadequate and severely doubt our ability or potential as a leader. We are not “tens” by this standard and often the world doesn’t think we are a “ten” either. The problem with the list is that Duffy Robbins had compiled a list characteristic of the Pharisees. The Pharisees were leaders alright but not the kind for which Jesus had kind words. They were the type of leaders that led by demanding performance, high standards, and perfect implementation of their beliefs in life. Now there is nothing wrong with their list, it’s just not what Jesus was looking for when he chose his disciples. They were careful students of God’s Word but they failed to recognize God’s word in the flesh. They were the “Jesus freaks” of their day except their zealous work was actually in opposition to God’s work. They had all the outside stuff right and yet they still refused to follow Jesus (oh, and they killed him too). That means you can score all tens on these things and still miss Jesus.
So what is it that Jesus was after?