A few months ago our family was on a night walk. We were talking about our church’s yearly goal, to disciple another person, and as we walked I asked them if they knew what that meant? I got some very good churchey answers, but I could tell they really had no idea what it meant. So, being me and being a bit pedantic I went all the way back to the Latin and how a student would literally follow in the footsteps of their teacher as their teacher taught them. So I finished up my impromptu lesson, “You must learn to walk like Jesus, now how would you do that?”
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How do you walk like Jesus?
Read the Gospels.
Then reread the Gospels.
Read them and mark up your Bible. Write notes in the margins. Answer questions.
And that’s what we did, we read the Gospels for 2 months
That’s not a lot of time if you think about it, if you’re only reading 10 or so verses every day, you’re not even finishing them all. Still you learn quite a lot in that time.
To kick it all off, we sat down together as a family and read through one short passage together, Mark 6:32-44, the sample passage in my How to Study the Bible ebook for the Gospels.
We talked about who Jesus talks to, and who’s in the story.
We dissected what Jesus did, then put it all back together.
We asked big questions of the passage, and tried to answer them.
We looked for why actions were taken, and why some didn’t happen.
We learned who Jesus is, not the Sunday School Jesus with simple answers of “Jesus, God, and love,” but the one who cried with his friends because their brother was dead.
Or the one who healed a woman without trying, and when she came forward took her hand.
Each week in the morning the kids would pick a spot and complete their Bible study for the day. Then Monday nights we would get together, pull out our Bibles and talk about what we’d learned for the week.
I’m continually amazed how often I see something new
I have been reading the Bible on my own for almost three decades now. You’d think I’d have learned everything, but each time I read a passage I’m a new person.
“Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart.” Luke 2:19
I read that passage shortly after having the boys and was amazed at how different it was.
Recently I’ve been reading the passages on parenting and rebellious children with a whole new heart. My kids are almost teenagers and are somewhat strong-willed. I’m getting a whole new understanding and feeling for the passages where Jesus says, “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, and you were not willing!” (Matthew 23:37). When my kids are at their most pig-headed I often want to pull them in and hug them like crazy (of course there are those other times where I feel more like God in Genesis chapter 6, “Why did I ever create them?”).
We’ve finished our Gospels study, and are now moving on to the Parables. I gave the kids the book to start working on it, but we need to schedule time to sit down and talk about it all, I have to confess we got off track over Christmas break. It’s hard to regularly sit down when there’s stuff scheduled every day.
Now we are attempting to go and do likewise, and walk like Jesus
Each day at the end of their Bible study they were challenged with, “now what will you change?” We’re not just looking for head knowledge, we want heart change.