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2023-03-03 | Matthew 14-15 | May I borrow Your HandkerchiefFirst you listen and learn; then you watch what you’ve learned in action; then you do it with the person from whom you’ve learned it; then you do it alone while you are watched by the person who taught you; then you do it alone without being watched; then you teach while someone else listens and learns; then they watch you do what they learned from you; then they do what they learned with you; then they do alone what they learned while you watch; then they do alone what they learned without being watched; then they teach what they learned to the next person who will listen. Paul says it concisely: “The things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.” Wash, rinse, repeat—it should be that simple.

Nevertheless, there are a few diagnoses that describe why this does not happen nearly as often as it ought: “daft-disciple-disorder,” “self-serving-syndrome,” and “greedy-gain-gangrene.” These illnesses can be found on two sides of the same counterfeit coin. One side… they just don’t get it. The other side… they do get it, but want it just to serve their own selfish desires. Yes, they sit on either side of the same counterfeit coin, separated only by the thin margin that makes the coin’s edge. And in the end, they all point in the same direction; go back to square one—back to where you started, because clearly no progress has been made. As children, we played the game Red-Light-Green-Light 1-2-3. The objective of the game is to reach the finish line without any movement being detected. From the starting line, you move forward only when the arbiter over the participants is facing away. As he calls out the game’s name, you strategically advance and when the last “eeee” of the number “three” loses its audible sound, he whips his head around to catch all those trying to squeeze in one last step. If busted for moving while in his field of vision, you must go back to square one, back to the starting line, while everyone who has adhered to the rules of the game continues forward.

Paul tells us to imitate him as he imitates Christ. You imitate me as I imitate Him and others will imitate you: wash, rinse, repeat. Christ gave lesson after lesson, demonstration after demonstration. He was in the boat with them and calmed the storm; He asked them to feed thousands of hungry people and then showed them how. He sent them on the boat without Him, and then walked out on the sea to meet them, and again calmed the storm. He presented a second occasion to feed the multitudes and yet they still asked, “Where would we get enough food in this remote wilderness to feed such a huge crowd?” And throughout it all, He healed the masses of every imaginable disease and promised us we’d do greater things one day!

If you are flipping a coin and it keeps coming up: heads you lose—tails… you lose, then you are suffering from an undiagnosed disease. I suggest you take a look at Y’shua’s playbook and learn from Him. And start living on the edge of the coin. That is where, although narrow, the seas become calm, bread forms out of thin air, and the masses are healed by simply touching your garment or the handkerchief you once held, or maybe even because they passed through your shadow. It will happen as long as you lose your daftness and stop making it all about you!