Image: marcia furman, Creative Commons
Jesus could and did draw a crowd, until his teaching became more cryptic; then people started scratching their heads and staying home the next day. It was as though he deliberately thinned the crowd, sending away the religious moths that always flew to the brightest light.
He selected a band of people to follow him and he was incredibly loyal to them. It was a crazy lot; a traitor, people with anger management issues, some of the guys from Deadliest Catch (commercial fisherman), a scumbag IRS agent (tax collector), and a person with ties to a terrorist organization that was trying to overthrow Roman rule (Zealot). Jesus would put them in new situations and afterwards, would ask them what they had learned. They were with him day and night. I would love to read their memoirs of their time with Jesus; that is, all of the stuff not contained in the Gospels.
Almost everything meaningful in life happens in the context of relationships. Jesus’ style of discipleship makes a strong case for mentoring, with small clusters of people and individuals coming together and learning from each other outside of the church walls and its orchestrated programs. It is quite a contrast to how we do church, with our massive Sunday morning presentations and well-planned programs.
We are only going to influence a few people in our lives. We ought to figure out who they are and what we want them to remember about us when we are gone.
Try this: write your own eulogy and then try to live up to it. Think about the people who mean the most to you and what you want them to remember about you.
An excerpt from the soon-to-be-released book, An Irreligious Faith: How to Starve Religion and Feed Life.