Our reading today comes from Matthew, chapter 16.
We are a people that revere knowledge. We stress the need for good education to our children. We read volumes and volumes of information each year about all sorts of topics.
This chapter speaks specifically about the knowledge of Christ, and how we are to obtain it. This is one of the subjects which flings me on top of my soapbox every time it comes up, so please forgive me if I run a little long today.
It both saddens and amazes me that we are surrounded by a country full of people who call themselves “Christians,” yet have never truly studied the man’s life or his teachings. It is true. How many of us have ever made the commitment to read the entire Bible and truly study it in a systematic manner? Not many.
This is so odd to me because we would not do that with any other entity:
Would you call yourself a Marxist without reading the manifesto?
Would you call yourself a parrot head without listening to the music?
Would you call yourself a member of the gator nation without watching a game?
NO! But yet here we are. Millions of people calling themselves christians while knowing relatively little about the man. How can this be? I think maybe it’s because we come to church every Sunday and a very knowledgable person stands on a stage and tells us about Him. And we are accustomed to absorbing information this way, given the way our educational system works in the is country. Show up for class, watch a presentation, and we can probably get by.
Jesus warns us in this passage not to do that. He warns his disciples about listening to the teachers of religion. Don’t get me wrong. I am not comparing our clergy to Pharisees. But Jesus continues to make his point by affirming that Peter received his knowledge from God, and not man.
Consider this: we are not in a classroom taking a course that will end in a few weeks. This is real life, and the things we do and say can have eternal consequences. Our souls, and those of the people that watch us, are dependent on our beliefs and our witness. Doesn’t that merit at least knowing, with certainty, those things that you profess to stand for?
I have a challenge for you. In a few weeks, Liberty Crossings will begin registration for our Fall DISCIPLE Classes. DISCIPLE is a 34-week study that takes us through 70% of the Bible, from Genesis to Revelation. It requires reading each day (but it isn’t as hard as you think.) And it requires that you attend a group meeting once each week to discuss what you have learned. DISCIPLE changed my life and the lives of many others in our church. You can go ask them yourselves, just get with me and I will give you their names. DISCIPLE will change the way you see the Bible, and will open up the life of Christ to you in incredible ways.
I challenge every person that wants to own that title, “Christian,” to sign up and take this class. Build your knowledge base. Be educated. Be real.
Peace brothers and sisters.
Praise be to the One who comes in the name of the Lord. Gracious Lord, You have provided us with a priceless treasure in Your Word. Forgive us for treating it as unnecessary. Give us each one a holy desire and thirst for Your word. Lead us to a place of commitment and deep understanding of what it means to be a follower of Christ. Help us to grow from merely calling ourselves christians, to actually being christians.
In the name of Christ I pray,
The following is a really good video (4 minutes) with comments by people who have completed DISCIPLE I. You might be interested in the benefits they received by participating in the study. Happy Tuesday!