Putting Yourself in Growth Mode.
At the end of the last blog, unimpressed by crowds, nor swayed by public opinion, Jesus had gone up a mountain. Now he sits down (Matt 5 : 1) It is entirely possible that this was because Jesus was just tired. I get tired these days walking upstairs, let alone walking up a mountain…
However, in the culture of the day, a Rabbi would sit, when addressing his disciples, as a presumption of authority, much in the same way a speaker in British culture today stands to address an audience.
In sitting, Jesus is effectively saying, “…here I am, I have good, wise, life-giving things to say. Would you like to know what they are?’
At this point, the Bible says, ‘…his disciples came to him.’ The Greek word for disciples here is ‘mathetes.’ The original meaning of this word is ‘the learners,’ or, ‘the pupils.’
Here’s the point: There was no restriction on who was able to learn from the King, but of the hundreds at the bottom of the mountain, only a minority put the effort into making the climb to hear Jesus speak and teach.
There will always be the Many who love the Miracles, but there are only ever a Minority who want to Mature.
I was stunned, even offended when my younger brother said to me a few years ago, “Andrew, you are responsible for your own spiritual growth.” I suppose I had assumed that spiritual growth was ‘automatic.’
It is true that seeds and plants grow in the garden ‘of their own accord.’ However, seeds and plants are much more likely to grow & flourish if a thoughtful and industrious gardener does a dozen things to make the gardening environment conducive to growth. (Weeding; pruning; fertilizing; watering, but not too much; ensuring sunlight…)
The King is always wanting to teach, impart wisdom, and help us to come to maturity, but we must be fully determined to engage in the process. This involves effort, commitment and intentionality. Lady Wisdom stands in the marketplace every day, shouting aloud…but most ignore her. (Proverbs 1 : 20 onwards.)
We can grow to be as wise and mature as we chose to be.
Questions we can ask ourselves include :
‘Am I one of the many, happy to merely watch the miracles, or am I intentional, proactive and determined to mature?’
To what extent do I take responsibility for putting myself in growth mode?