Wednesday, September 28, 2005
Birth vs growth
Jesus declared, "I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of
God unless he is born again." -- John 3:3
As one teacher told me, anyone can become a biological father but a real fathering takes time and energy and commitment (i.e., love poured into the child). Which is why, I believe, the great commission commands us to make disciples, not merely convert the lost. Conversion can take few minutes of witnessing but discipleship takes years and decades. Even Jesus Christ spent 24x7 for 3+ years with the apostles -- who ended up denying and avoiding Him in His greatest hour of need and only recovered when the Holy Spirit was given to them.
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations -- Matt 28:19
Parable of the sower (Matthew 13:1-23) highlights the challenge of discipleship: the Gospel can sprout new converts but not all are "successful." The difference, I believe, is in the discipleship: just as you feed plants (water & fertilizer) and get rid of weeds and other pests (insects and animals), you need to watch over the growth of a child be it a human-born child or a spiritually-born child. Just as you don't feed all junk food to a child or let him play on a busy street, you want to raise the spiritual child through discipleship. And like parent, like child, for yours truly, I must live an example before I can expect my children to follow be it in a human way or in a spiritual way. (ouch!)