Remember the scene from the original Star Wars movie where they are making a failed run at blowing up the Death Star? The lead pilot is more focused on the pursuit of the bad guys than he is on the target. An accompanying pilot is telling him over the radio, “Stay on target. Stay on target.” The urging of the accompanying pilot doesn’t work, the lead pilot is freaking out and gets blown up. I guess I’m getting caught up in the Star Wars hype lately, as this is my second reference to the movie in the last month or so.
We have to stay on target. We have to know, remember, be reminded of and stay intentional about what our call into faith is all about. If we start freaking out about distractions, attacks, apparent shortcomings and things other than our target, we are done.
When Nathanael saw Jesus, which I wrote about in my recent post here, he saw the simplicity of discipleship. Nathanael was one of the original disciples and complicated things don’t tend to be replicated easily or well. The whole idea of the original twelve disciples was to multiply in ways that others could and would multiply. It had to be a reasonably simple target for any hopes of multiplication. When Nathanael saw Jesus for who He was in John 1, he was identifying the target:
- Rabbi – teacher of Scripture and disciple maker. The foundation of teaching and Scripture was something that Jesus had been studying for years (see Luke 2). Jesus didn’t just show up and start talking God-stuff, He actually grew in His wisdom and stature (again, Luke 2). The study and understanding of Scripture is a foundational necessity of discipleship and disciple making.
- Son of God – the difference between Jesus and His knowledge of Scripture and the religious leaders of the day and their knowledge of Scripture was relationship. Jesus was connected to the Father intimately and relationally. He came to connect us intimately and relationally to the Father. Through that connection, Scripture takes on depth and meaning beyond the limitation of words and ideas.
- King – Jesus wasn’t ushering in church, He was ushering in the Kingdom. He wasn’t bringing a new set of rules, He was opening the eyes of people to see beyond the rules. He was going deep and disciples are invited to see the Kingdom, where heaven and earth intersects.
Our target is the Kingdom. We are commissioned as agents of the Kingdom to agree with heaven on earth. With that end in mind, we operate relationally to agree with the King. We know Him and His ways through His written word, the Bible. We know what is and isn’t Him by knowledge of the Scriptures, we relate to Him from that knowledge and we agree with Him in His Kingdom purpose.
Stay on target.