Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Disciples Ask

So I'm thinking about believing, because Jesus speaks much of it and highly. He says, "Believe in me," and he explains why. He explains who he is. The content of Christian believing is first and foremost a believing in Jesus--in who he is and what he has done. Sometimes I run into a Tug McGraw kind of Christianity (baseball fans over 50 will know what I'm talking about) which is nothing more than positive thinking. This manifests itself in statements that begin, "I'm trusting God for . . ." You fill in the blank.

Okay, I'm not here to condemn such thinking. Perhaps there's something to it. But I can't help but notice that the Bible is pretty darn specific about just what we are to believe. I've been reading Walter Marshall's The Gospel Mystery of Sanctification, and his purpose therein is to show that our sanctification, our willingness and power to walk in obedience--to put on Christ--flows from our believing, and it is a believing in certain fundamental things about Jesus and about the Father.

Jesus, in his final talk with his disciples, says:
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it.
I make no claim here to plumbing the depths of these incredible promises, and I've got to admit that I haven't been a model of such believing. Sometimes I ask little because I expect little. In other words, I have not always trusted this partiuclar "truly, truly" of Jesus.

But all of my recent posts have been after an understanding of discipleship. From Jesus' words I must conclude not only that disciples believe in Jesus, but the natural follow-though of that believing is that disciples pray in his name. Disciples ask.

I don't pretend to have the answers to all the questions about prayer. I only say this. Disciples pray. Disciples ask. Disciples intercede. Judging by the prominence that Jesus gives to this particular characteristic, which he enjoins upon the eleven at least three times on that last night with them, I must conclude that it is one of the central actions of the disciple's faith.


Milton Stanley said...

Amen. Good word.

Anonymous said...

read this post, on to the next...