We draw all kinds of faulty conclusions. We presume what one person necessarily is by the way that they act and look. We presume what someone should do and appear to be if they want to do something we deem admirable. We elevate behaviors to justify labels and put people into the box of our expectations for them. Once the labels are on and the boxes established, it can be difficult to undo them.
We have to be careful not to add to what is required. If we add to the requirements, we become modern-day Pharisees. The best intentions of doing the best stuff are undone by our choices based in judgment and pigeon holing of people based in man-made requirements.
We tend to attribute certain characteristics to what a disciple looks like and additional characteristics to what a disciple maker does. These attributes make total sense to our natural minds as accomplished or mature people certainly produce evidence of that maturity in their lives and behaviors. The problem is that we are so inclined to stop at the behaviors and not go on with spiritual insight into the potential or the identity of another.
In Matthew 28, Jesus commissions His disciples to carry the Kingdom to all of the earth, making disciples of others. He sends them out to duplicate themselves. You know what some of those disciples He sent out were doing just before He commissions them? They were doubting.
Matthew 28:17, just before the commissioning, says, “When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.” These were the guys He chose to carry and multiply the greatest spiritual upheaval of all time. These guys were the ones He counted on to start the movement that reaches generations to this day. Doubters.
Just in case it doesn’t seem like a big deal to you, remember that Hebrews 11:6 says that without faith, it is impossible to please God. Faith and doubt are contrary positions. Doubt doesn’t please God. Yet, these were the guys and these guys had actually lived with Jesus in the flesh for three years leading up to this doubt.
Disciples are flawed and so are disciple makers. We need to be careful about disqualifications based on the religious or moral pedigree and trust that He can use doubters and all sorts of others, including me and you despite our flaws, as agents of Good News. We aren’t disqualified based on our doubts, fears or choices. It’s His authority in the first place, not ours, so it’s His authority that carries the weight of multiplication.