Last week I spent some time reading Alan and Debra Hirsch’s newest offering, Untamed. It was so worthwhile that I thought I would take a few days to post a summary of each chapter. While there is nothing necessarily “new” in the book it is a really well done text that brings classic missional discipleship into an updated and fresh rendering.
We begin with our view of Jesus. The argument that is posited is simple, “Show us your Jesus and we will show you who you are (38).” This is key to our understanding who God is. This is why the Hirsches argue that the foundation of discipleship is Jesus. To know God is to know Jesus. In any way that our picture of Jesus fails so too does our image of God.
I think that Alan and Deb illustrate this well by asking this simple and yet profound question, “If we had a properly Jewish picture of Jesus would the holocaust have happened? (39)”
Let that question run around in your mind a moment. Is it possible that had the world rightly pictured Jesus as a Jew and not as a European could it be that the holocaust could have been avoided?
We must ask this question, do we believe in the Jesus of the Bible or do we believe in a created Jebus of our own imagination?
This is critical for the task of discipleship because it is Jesus who sets the entire spiritual agenda for his follower. Before continuing in your read, I would encourage to take a moment and consider, who is your Jesus?
Now we must determine what our agenda for discipleship is. Quite simply it is the pursuit of holiness. This pursuit of holiness is different from what we typically understand. Consider the fact that when Jesus was teaching there was a group of very holy people, the Pharisees. They had cornered the market on holiness, they had all the rules and all the ways to make sure you could stay close God. However, the people feared them and their religion.
Then this Jesus comes around and his brand of holiness is attracted people, and not just average people, but SINNERS. Yes, his holiness attracted SINNERS, the very people who the Pharisees, those hard hearted harbingers of holiness, despised and avoided. This holy Jesus was accused of being a drunk and a glutton. His brand of holiness is clearly stated in Matthew 5-7, that great sermon on the mount.
Do you hold to the radical and untamed holiness that Jesus espouses in the sermon?
What is astounding is that this holiness is based within the context of love, grace, and mercy and yet a radical standard that transcends anything that most of us would consider doable.
The first task of missional discipleship: right our view of Jesus.
The second task of mission discipleship: embrace the sermon on the mount as our agenda.