Skills & Character

  

S (Scripture): Mark 5:35 While Jesus was still speaking, people came from the synagogue ruler’s house saying, “Your daughter has died. Why trouble the teacher any longer?” 36 But Jesus, paying no attention to what was said, told the synagogue ruler, “Do not be afraid; just believe.” 37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James. 38 They came to the house of the synagogue ruler where he saw noisy confusion and people weeping and wailing loudly. 39 When he entered he said to them, “Why are you distressed and weeping? The child is not dead but asleep.” 40 And they began making fun of him. But he put them all outside and he took the child’s father and mother and his own companions and went into the room where the child was. 41 Then, gently taking the child by the hand, he said to her, “Talitha koum,” which means, “Little girl, I say to you, get up.” 42 The girl got up at once and began to walk around (she was twelve years old). They were completely astonished at this. 43 He strictly ordered that no one should know about this, and told them to give her something to eat.

O (Observation): This miracle story is loaded with pointers to the work of The Messiah, Jesus Christ.  Jesus shows dominion over death.  Jesus is indeed God on earth.  

But I’m not focused on that this morning.  Of all things, this is what caught my heart:

37 He did not let anyone follow him except Peter, James, and John, the brother of James.

This verse explains that the only folks who had close access to Jesus and the young girl who had died, were 3 of Jesus’ disciples.  

Jesus took time during his ministry to bring others along with him. On occasion he would take the 12 or even just a sub-group of the 12 and show them how to do the work of God in a very small setting.  One healing at a time. One exorcism at a time.  

For his pending departure, he would leave behind a group filled with the Holy Spirit and trained in the ways of making other disciples.

A (Application):  Sometimes doing the job yourself is easier.  Sometimes coordinating schedules is just more difficult than it is worth.   A lot more effort is needed to bringing someone along with you.  But it is so worth it!

Here’s the great thing that happens when you bring someone along with you:  skills are sharpened, but so is character!   

Jesus was showing his disciples how to pray and be humble before God, but also how to allow God to work in and through him.   Why? So that when he departed, they would know how to do God’s work.   And not only that, the disciples would be able to teach others the ways of Christ.

Now, as Jesus was training the disciples, they most assuredly asked questions of “Why?” in addition to “How?”  The questions of “Why?” perhaps led to questions that would develop their character as disciples of Christ. 

Being a follower of Christ means we engage in work that develops not only our skills, but also our character.  This is painful work at times – both for the mentor AND the disciple – but the fruit we might bear can be pretty amazing.  We never know what that will look like exactly, but we are blessed when it shows up.  

Thanks be to God!

Whom are you following these days?  Whom are you leading?  (Remember, your influence comes not just with leadership and speaking skills.  You are leading everyone who accepts your influence – think: children, grandchildren, students, etc.)

P (Prayer): Lord, thank you for leading us and giving us others in this world to lead us.  We are thankful for the opportunity to lead others in your ways.  Amen. 

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