Stories, thoughts and reflections on the Bible from the WSFC Staff.
Here is another excerpt from a small book I wrote called Intentional Impressions for Future Generations. I’ve been writing to you for a number of weeks about parenting. These are some further thoughts on that topic. You can find the full book for free at www.johnfehlen/whitepapers.
Jesus had some lofty goals for the twelve disciples that he trained for three years. Interestingly, none of his goals involved them being with him forever.
The goal of discipleship is going.
This was a necessary step in discipleship.
Likewise, at some point our disciples (our kids) must be sent out. They won’t have us around to make decisions for them. They will be on their own. What will they go with? Luke 9 says this: “When Jesus had called the Twelve together, he gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases, and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God and to heal the sick. He told them: “’Take nothing for the journey—no staff, no bag, no bread, no money, no extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there until you leave that town. If people do not welcome you, shake the dust off your feet when you leave their town, as a testimony against them.’ So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere” (emphasis mine).
Let’s look at a few of these phrases in this text. First, Jesus gave them some things. He invested in them before they went out to minister. The text tells us that he gave them power and permission. Jesus gave them ability and authority. He invested in them the power to drive out demons and cure diseases, and also gave them permission to minister. What kind of investment are we making in our disciples? Are we empowering them to make Godly decisions and live righteously? Hopefully, you have had years to train them and now you get the opportunity to seal those values into their hearts before they are sent out.
That’s what Jesus did next: he sent them out. I call this stage immersion because its similar to jumping into the deep end of the pool. You have taught your kids to swim, but now you get to find out if they really can! It can be scary because you won’t be there to help when they get in over their head. When Jesus sent the disciples out to proclaim the Kingdom of God and heal the sick he undoubtedly had to wonder if it would work. But, he sent them out nonetheless. So must we.
Lastly, Jesus gave them some important instructions before they went on their journey. His instructions had to do with what to bring and where to go. I love how Jesus addressed very practical issues. We must talk to our children about practical concepts such as school, dating, job hunting, finances, marriage, faith and family. At this season of their life these topics are on their mind so you have a wonderful opportunity to address them according to a biblical perspective, with the hopes that when they leave your gates they will be equipped.