Love In Red Letters

Author - Keyshawn Parkman
One thing I’ve always admired about Jesus was his ability to build and sustain relationships. It’s intrigued me how he took such a humble route for his ministry. The king of kings, God himself— decided to become flesh and dwell amongst other men. I imagine him eating, cleaning, fishing, walking and talking with different people throughout his entire time here. Even his own disciples believed he’d take a more political approach to his ministry. As time went on Jesus proved that the kingdom he came to establish meant far more. It would last far longer than any average kingdom.

For us, who desire to imitate Jesus and walk with him daily, we must understand how to imitate the way Jesus decided to do ministry. I’m always taken aback at the fact that Jesus was able to grow his kingdom here on earth through the relationships and discipling of just 12 people. For 3 years he did life with these disciples. They took his message and spread it to the world.

As I come up on 5 months here at The Fellowship, living in community with others, I am beginning to imagine and understand the value that comes through life on life discipleship. Jesus disciples had the ability to not only hear his teachings, but were also able to experience his love firsthand. One aspect we’ve been discussing these past few days is the shock factor we as Christians should be displaying as we live out the gospel in our daily lives. I’ve been privileged to see how our mentors here not only have taken us deeper into an understanding of the gospel but have also shown us the love of Christ firsthand. I believe this was Jesus’ ministry model. He needed witnesses. During these times, there were plenty of false prophets to go around. They spread false information and false teachings that placed a heavy burden on the people who were genuinely trying to follow God. There were plenty of Pharisees who held their disciples to a strict and heavy burden. Everybody knew the Law, but few knew the love of God. I believe this is why Jesus decided to not only bring a fresh teaching to the world but also to show his love through his disciples.

Before Jesus ascends back into heaven, he gaves what we now know as the “Great Commission.” Beginning in Matthew 28:16, we read, “ Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Jesus not only showed the disciples what love looked like by living in community with them, but he also charged them to go and make their own disciples as well. We see this in the book of Acts as the church explodes in size. We see thousands of people selling their possessions and giving to the poor, and the Bible says everyone acted in one accord. The disciples took what they learned from being in community with Jesus and made community of their own, teaching and demonstrating the gospel that Jesus taught.

I believe that’s it’s a priority for those of us who truly want to follow Jesus to love like he does, to imitate his ministry model. We must create community of our own and show the love of Jesus to the lost. We can’t just teach the gospel. We also must live it out as well, leading with love and creating that “shock factor” to everyone we encounter. I’m certain that the people we begin to love on this way will begin to see a move from God and encounter him in ways they never have before. By the grace of God, they’ll be encouraged to make disciples for themselves one day.

No Comments