Look At How Jesus Did Ministry...

A reading for Wednesday, July 15, 2015: Mark 2:13-22.

Look at how Jesus did ministry...

He called Levi the tax collector. He sat with Levi. He taught Levi. He visited Levi's home and ate a meal with Levi's friends and colleagues. In verse 15, I have always assumed that the reference to many followed him was about Jesus. "And as he sat at dinner in Levi’s house, many tax collectors and sinners were also sitting with Jesus and his disciples—for there were many who followed him." But instead it could also be read as a reference about Levi. Could it be that Jesus chose Levi in order that Levi would be able to minister to his friends and colleagues? Once Jesus had loved and taught him?

Ministry is relational. It is one on one. Most effective, long term transformational ministry doesn't happen in big groups or from big ideas. Consider again Luke 10: "Whatever house you enter, first say, 'Peace to this house!' And if anyone is there who shares in peace, your peace will rest on that person; but if not, it will return to you. Remain in the same house..." For the earliest disciples, being sent meant to dwell in a place long enough to build relationships, to get to know the people you lived among. Only then could ministry happen. Only then could love and peace truly be exchanged.

In our culture, relationships are hard to come by. Real, genuine one on one relationships are rare. Most of who we know has a purpose. Most of our relationships are business associates, or coaches, or teachers, or service providers... There is a primary reason we know that person and beyond that reason sometimes there is no relationship. To do ministry, Jesus calls us to go beyond the pursuit of relationship in service to self or self-interest. The pursuit of the Kingdom of Heaven requires hard questions, and interpretation of holy scripture, and self-examination that only happens in a trusted, one-on-one relationship. And that discipled person ministers to another, and then that person to another.... and on and on!

As a new friend of mine said yesterday, "This is how Jesus changed the world!" Thanks Angela.


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