Who is your teacher? (The Divine Conspiracy Chapter 8)

“Who teaches you? Whose disciple are you?” Willard begins chapter 8. And then he states a very important truth: “You are somebody’s disciple…You are quite certainly the student of a few crucial people, living and dead, who have been there in crucial times and periods to form your standard responses in thought, feeling, and action.”
As Willard moves through the 7th chapter of Matthew, he addresses one of the most important questions we can consider: ‘Who is your teacher?’

The whole point of discipleship is to become students in Christ’s school. And the nature of this school is an all encompassing curriculum that involves all of life. To be a disciple means I am “learning from Jesus how to lead my life, my whole life, my real life.”

This is not the focus of most churches, Willard says. Discipleship is more like an optional addition but does not seem to be central to the message of Christianity today.
Willard uses the example of the elephant in the room. We are familiar with concept of some big issue in the room that no one will address because they don’t want to face the issue even though it is large and staring us in the face. Well, Willard says, “Nondiscipleship is the elephant in the church.” We are not making disciples because it is not our intention as a church to make disciples any more. And not only is that reality playing out in churches, but the failure is being ignored.
Yes, we want people to change how they live, but we are not doing what needs to be done to ensure they will change their behavior. Willard says that what needs to happen is for our core beliefs to change: “Our beliefs are the rails on which life runs, and so we have to address actual beliefs and their doubts, not spend our time discussing many fine things that have little or no relevance to their genuine state of mind.”
Willard has hit the center of the problem in the church. Yes, we tell people that they need to have a relationship with Christ, but we do not tell them what that means. We do not point people to the fact that they have entered into Christ’s school and they are now taking classes that will change the way they think, what they feel, what they want, and how they choose.
The question to ask yourself as you read this is simple: Is Jesus your teacher? Are you learning how to live your real life, all of it, under the leadership of Jesus? Are you learning from Him? Studying what He said and did in order to understand how you are to live your real life today?


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