Posts Tagged ‘discipleship’

Jesus and his disciples are on Peter’s front porch after dinner. Bumper, Jesus’ dog is sitting licking Jesus’ feet. Andrew is scratching the dog’s ears. The rest of the disciples are lounging around and Judas is annoying everyone with his cigar.

Matthew: Lord, which of us follows you best?

Jesus: Bumper.

Matthew: What? He’s just a mutt.

Jesus: You should love me like Bumper loves me.

Nathaniel: Dogs are unclean.

Jesus: Yep. They’re pitiful. Bumper thinks cat pooh is wonderful. Absolutely hopeless. To love him I have to overlook his nature. However, he’s happy with anything I give him. He’ll even try turnips if they’re from me.

Andrew (quits scratching Bumper and looks at his fingers): So, he’s unclean and that’s okay?

Jesus: It’s the tension again — the truth is brutal and grace is kind. Bumper is a mess and I love him. He follows me everywhere and is happy with everything but my absence. He’ll walk beside me all day just to have the chance to lick my (unclean) feet. I say, ‘Bumper come,’ he comes, ‘Bumper go,’ he goes. I say, ‘Bumper stay,’ and he’ll sit waiting for me indefinitely.

Peter (he raises his hand and Jesus nods): So, when you asked us to ‘follow,’ you were thinking about dogs?

Jesus: Well, sort of. Remember when I told you the ‘come as a child’ thing? It’s like that. Bumper is pure dog. He lives for me. His happiness is me. Remember the scribe who was arguing with me and grabbed my robe at the bus stop past Nazareth, near Sephora, where my Aunt Anne lives? Bumper was on…hackles up, growling and all that. Bumper processes HIS life through MY perspective.

John: Woohoo! So, you DO want us as bodyguards! I knew it!

Jesus (holding up his hand): Uhm, no. If you’ll remember, I told Bumper to sit and shake hands with the scribe, which he did, though the scribe declined.

They all laugh.

Judas (blowing smoke rings): Bumper is a good dog. He sleeps at your feet, eats anything, obeys, is house broken and even herds sheep. We could rent him to shepherds.

Jesus: Yeah, Judas, he’s a good dog. Bumper would die for me. But, here’s the important thing: Bumper is just a beast that’d be nothing without a master. When I named him, I CREATED him. I gave him an identity. He finds meaning and purpose through me, his master, who loves him. Bumper is completed by me. When your life is me, you will be the most you that you can be. I’ve come to give you life and give it completely.

Tr8: You ARE defined by your master. Choose Christ as your master. You become you when you are known by  Jesus.

Jesus and his disciples are at the Temple in Jerusalem after his resurrection. Murphy, (the non-disciple) tags along. Soon-to-be deacons are having a bake sale for the Greek widows in one of the outer porticos. Jesus takes his disciples (and Murphy) into the Temple outside the Holy of Holies. Some priests are standing quietly looking at the curtain.

Murphy: Are we invisible? I don’t think the priests see us (waving his hand in front of a priest’s eyes).

Peter: No, they’re like the guards at Buckingham Palace. They can’t move or they get in trouble (he touches one priest’s nose and the priest swats at his hand as if it were a fly)

Andrew (tickling one’s ear): No! We are invisible!

The disciples begin to mess with the priests. Simon is about to give one a wedgie when Jesus stops him.

Jesus: Knock it off! (He points at a big strip of duct tape running from top to bottom of the curtain.) Check this out. Tearing this apart was the last thing I did before Easter. Watch this…

Jesus waves his hand like a magician at the curtain. The disciples are frozen.

They watch…

closely…closely…and…

nothing happens.

Jesus (watches and smiles): Gotcha! (He puts his hands down.) Now, watch.

The duct tape begins to slowly uncurl and fall from the curtain.

Bozar the Priest (jumping up, grabbing a stepladder out of the closet): Hot dog! There it goes again! Zebar get more tape!

Jesus (aside to the disciples): God’s altar. Keep it open. Peter, guys, when you get your churches going, I want you to remember two things.

Bozar holds the ladder while Zebar pulls a strip of duct tape, but the silver tape folds on itself and is useless. Zebar swears. Bozar pulls the hair on Zebar’s legs. Zebar swears again and kicks at Bozar.

Peter (watches and nods then turns to Jesus): What two things?

Jesus: It’s complicated. (The priests freeze.) Peter, you’re going to be a Catholic and Andrew you are going to be a Greek Orthodox and some of you other guys are going to be anabaptist, presbyterian, and what not. Just remember churches are for people with needs, not big holy off-limits altars, like this.

James: Will our churches be as big as the Temple?

Jesus: You wouldn’t believe! Here’s the two things: 1. No sacrifices, no death, no blood on the altar. 2. Everyone is allowed to come to the altar, and 3. The church is to be a sanctuary for anyone seeking refuge. You are to be a place of refuge for those in need.

Nathaniel (holding up his hand to Jesus): That’s three things, not two.

Jesus (pointing a finger at Nathaniel): Wanted to see if you were paying attention. The third one is prime. Wherever you guys worship and fellowship, make it a sanctuary for the rest of the world.

Bart: Sanctuary?

Jesus: It’s a place where one finds grace, love, safety and protection from the world. As the Father sends me, so I send you. Be a sanctuary for the oppressed.

Matthew: What if they’re sinners and are guilty?

Jesus: Sin oppresses. Keep an eye on the ideal, but be real — know the truth, but act in grace. Remember this: God will judge all. YOU are my disciples. Murph, you watch your sanctuality, too. I don’t want you kickin’ anyone out of church who is seeking refuge and forgiveness.

Thad: What about liars, thieves, murders, adulterers, cheaters, and Rastafarians?

Jesus: Love ’em.

John: What about greedy, proud, gluttonous, angry Germans?

James: What if a pharisee or scribe comes seeking refuge?

Jesus: Love ’em.

Murphy (the non-disciple): What about pigeons?

Jesus (shoves Murph’s head): Repeat after me: Repenters of sin, let ’em in.

Disciples: Repenters of sin, let ’em in.

Jesus: You trust me to judge and do what’s best for everyone. I’m trusting you to accept others as I accepted you. No exceptions. No is sin too big. Be love. Even if you meet in an auditorium or warehouse. You are my ambassadors. Reconcile to world to me.

Tr8: We are sanctuaries of unconditional refuge and love. Draw others into a growing relationship with Christ. Have faith, trust God.

John 20:21, 2 Corinthians 5:20

Jesus and a half-dozen disciples are in the park sitting at a picnic table eating a light lunch – crackers, cheese and beer. [Note: Beer did not become a sin until the Protestant Reformation.] They’d just come from the market and were on their way to paint an old couple’s house and do yard work. Murphy, an Irish gentile who had a habit of following Jesus at a distance walks up with a second bag of crackers.

Jesus: Hey, Murph. What’s up?

Murphy (clearing his throat and spitting rather matter-of-factly): Ear’s the rest o yer crackers ye bought at the market. Jack, that b*stard, gipped ya. D*mn finger on the scale ee did. I kinely introduced myself and broke his f*ing fingers.

Jesus (questioningly, peeling a beer from the plastic thingy, handing it to Murphy): Perhaps a bit extreme, Murph. Where are you staying these days?

Murphy (blushing, looking aside): Uh, when not under God’s glorious stars, or bouncing at Adam’s Pub, I’m in kind company at Patel’s boarding house.

Jesus: Would that be with Patel’s ex-wife? I remember he was beaten within and inch of his life and he returned to India suddenly.

Murphy (looking down): I spose. What’s it to you, now?

Jesus (looking at Murphy knowingly): Hindi has had a tough life — dragged here from India — she and her kids need protection. You’re taking good care of them?

Murphy: Yes, sir. Little Evie, the youngest, puts the sun in the sky. I’m doin well by them, Jesus. Hell, I try to imagine what you’d do, then do it. I’d die for them. Trouble ever is my temper’s a wee bit loose at the edges, but I’d never touch Hindi or the wee ones.

Jesus (looking into Murphy’s eyes): I understand you, Murph. You know, we’re out to redeem the Tribes of Israel — twelve disciples, twelve tribes — it’s symbolic. I’ll be collecting seventy disciples for the rest of the world in a few weeks. Do you want to join us and follow me?

Murphy (shaking his head): No thanks, I’d best stay put and watch over Hindi and her kids. Raincheck?

Jesus (smiling): Good answer, Murph.

Murphy: Yeah, I’ll do m’best to follow you here — love God and love my neighbor and such.

Jesus: That works for me. Love you Murph. Okay gang, stay put, I need to run to the market for a second to talk with Cracker Jack about his hand. Anybody need anything?

Murphy: Hang on, d*mmit. Uh. ‘Scuse me, I mean I guess I better go, too.

Tr8: Follow Christ where you are.

Jesus sits at a table in the back of McCoy’s Irish Pub in Capernaum, near the docks. Peter, James and John are sitting with him. There’s a line of guys facing the table cuing up to interview for a job. Bumper is sitting at Jesus feet. Amy and John McCoy let Jesus and his disciples have the run of the pub because John used to be blind.

Peter (looking around): So, why is it we’re taking applications for disciples in John’s pub? Wouldn’t a booth in the agora or in front of the synagogue be better?

Jesus: The pub screens out undesirables.

Peter: But pubs are usually full of undesirables.

Jesus: Yep. We want disciples who are comfortable around undesirables. Plus, following me will make these guys undesirable in the long run. They need to get used to it.

James: Why 70? Seems like alot. We’ve been doing great with twelve. Seems like overkill.

Jesus: Two things: First, it’s symbolic. After Noah, it was assumed the world was repopulated by 70 nations. I’m sending a disciple to each one. Second, we’re laying the foundation for a world-wide church.  These guys will be like John the Baptist in the Wilderness. They’re going to proclaim my kingdom to the corners of the world.  We’ll be global within a handful of generations.

John: In that case, 70 doesn’t seem like enough.

Jesus: You, twelve, will follow them and will appreciate their lead work after the Temple falls.

James: Temple fall? You keep saying that.

Jesus (looking up): Yeah, the whole thing’s coming down in your lifetime. You’ll follow the 70 out into the world and proclaim my resurrection.

Peter (scratching his head): Could you go over all that again? It’s still foggy to me.

Jesus: Not now, work to do. Next!

Rich guy: Jesus, I’d follow you anywhere!

Jesus: Sounds good. Sell all you have, give it to the poor and I’ll send you to Norway.

Rich guy (Looking downfallen): Sell everything? Norway? I need to think about this.

Jesus: Next!

Philip: I’d like to be a disciple. As you know, I’ve been following you guys around for a while. I carried the wine at the wedding.

Jesus: How do you like my dog, Bumper?

Philip (scratching Bumper’s head): He seems a good dog. Golden retriever?

Jesus: No, mixed. Okay, I’ve seen your grace Philip. You sure you’re up for this? I’m going to send you to Japan.

Philip: You instruct. I follow.

Jesus: Meet us in the agora tomorrow morning at 7:00. Next!

Shem the Pharisee: I’m here about the discipleship training.

Jesus (looking up): Hmm. How do you like my dog?

Shem (looking askance): He looks okay, I suppose.

Jesus: Would you let him lick you?

Shem: Not unless you wanted me to be licked.

Jesus: You are a ‘Man of the Law’ but you’re gonna have to let grace overrule the law. Can you do that?

Shem: Yes. God wanted the Children of Abraham to become a Holy Priesthood, but we haven’t done that too well. I’m convinced you are the Hope of Israel and the world.

Jesus: You’ve answered well, Shem. How do you feel about Moscow? You’ll be doing lead work for Andrew.

Shem: I’m in.

Jesus: Okay, meet at the agora tomorrow morning at 7:00. Next!

Chainsaw: Love the Lord your God completely and your neighbor as yourself!

Jesus (smiling): Why do they call you Chainsaw?

Chainsaw: I used to wrestle professionally in Jericho. I’ve been doing Power Team shows at local synagogues.

Jesus: How’s that working out?

Chainsaw: We get through to alot of the kids, break bricks and stuff, but I’m wanting to do something deeper and more meaningful. I think God has a greater plan for me.

Jesus: What sort of plan?

Chainsaw: Ever heard of Mongolia? I read about it in a National Geographic at the dentist’s office. Well, I feel I should imitate your ministry with Mongolians.

Jesus (grinning and shaking Chainsaw’s hand): Meet us in the agora at 7:00 tomorrow morning. Next!

Thomas (wandering up to the table): You guys want another round?

Jesus: Sure. How ’bout you ‘Pillars of the Church?’

James: So, what’s going to happen with these guys?

Jesus: We’ll meet and send ’em out tomorrow. They’ll start spreading the Gospel and will come back and report to us. After my resurrection they’ll go back out with the rest of the story. It’ll transform the world.

The next guy steps up.

Morgan: I’m here about the disciple job. I helped you paint Widow Patel’s house last month.

Jesus: Oh, yeah! Hey, Morgan! Thomas! Thomas!

Thomas (bringing a fist of mugs): Yeah?

Jesus: Meet Morgan. He’s going to do lead work in India for you.

Thomas (questioningly, puts the mugs down and shakes Morgan’s hand): Uh. Hey, Morgan. What?

Jesus (smiling): Don’t worry, it’ll make sense later. You guys are going to be great friends.

John: So, what about us, Lord? Will we all have lead guys?

Jesus: You twelve will work on the Tribes of Israel first  — twelve, get it? — but later you’ll join these guys in the field. And yes, these guys will prepare the way for you. God has big plans for all of you.

 

Tr8: God has big plans for you, too. Release and go as he leads.