“But who do you say that I am?” (Matthew 16:15) Jesus really put Peter on the spot with this simple question. You see, by this time Peter had been tramping around the countryside with Jesus for quite a while already. He had heard all of Jesus’ teachings, witnessed many miracles, and observed the details of the daily life of the master. But what did Peter actually make of it all? What did he believe about Jesus?
Peter: “You are the Christ, the son of the living God.”
Jesus: “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven.”
This simple exchange between Jesus and Peter has had a profound impact on how I think about discipleship. As a former missionary I am familiar with quite a number of helpful tools and methods for discipleship. And as beneficial as many of these methods are, we have to be careful not to ever lose sight of how Jesus himself did discipleship. Jesus preached to the masses, and confronted the corrupt authorities, but he discipled just 12 men.
His method of discipleship was to simply “do life” together.
It was only after quite a long time of this “doing life” together that he asked Peter what he actually believed. Jesus didn’t rush his disciples to that question; he allowed them time to arrive to a realization of the truth. And when Peter did arrive at this truth, Jesus is clear that this did not happen by human power, but the Father revealed this truth to him.
As followers of Christ, the staff and volunteers of Dream Centers seek to get involved with the life of our community and address tangibly the needs of many who are hurting. We desire holistic health–body, mind, and spirit. Some who come to us are ready to respond to the Gospel right away. Others need a lot more time to have life on life contact with authentic Jesus followers before then can receive spiritual truth. It is not up to us to determine this timing. We keep our eyes and ears open to what the Holy Spirit is doing, and trust that the Father will use both our words and our deeds to reveal Himself to those whom we serve in His name.
– Brian Anderson