Try or Train

basketball practice

Last Sunday we looked at Luke 6:39-49.

Before this section Jesus had been teaching on the opposite nature of the kingdom of God. You are blessed if you are poor, you should love your enemies, you should forgive and not condemn people. This kingdom is the opposite of the world and of our natural inclinations. So, how do we participate in this kingdom?

March Madness just ended. My Iowa State Cyclones were in it, but bowed out by losing their second game. I asked the assembled folks on Sunday, “What do you think Roy Williams or any good basketball coach would say if one of his young players came to him before the next season and said, ‘I’m going to really try and play better this year.'” We thought about it and decided he would say, “Show me everyday in practice. Don’t try, train.”

There is a lot of trying in my following of Jesus. I get an inclination of something he wants me to do or to change in my life and I think, I’m going to try and do that better. I think this is why Jesus overwhelms us with his description of the kingdom. You can’t try to be this radically different. It’s like trying to run a marathon. I can try really hard, but if I am not training, I am in trouble when it comes to race day.

Jesus says, “The student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” Come to me, says Jesus, and let me train you. Then he follows this with three quick lessons on training:
– the plank in your eye. practice healthy self inspection and repentance
– the heart’s storehouse. store up good things in your heart and you will have good things to bring into your relationships
– the house built on the rock. listen to me and do what I tell you and you will build a life which will withstand storms

I can do this! Today I can spend time in self inspection. Today I can bring into my heart the truths of scripture. Today I can listen and do my best to follow his leading.

And the amazing thing is that, over time, as the days of training go by, I become more like the teacher.

This Sunday we continue in Luke as we look at the authority of Jesus in Luke 7:1-17.

Then, the next Sunday, April 16, is Easter! Who are you bringing with you for our special Easter worship and lunch?

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