Learn the Story
The stories that Jesus tells, the commands that Jesus gives, the invitations that Jesus offers are found in four books of that odd collection of books known as the Bible. To be an apprentice of Jesus means to know His whole story. And Jesus’ story begins long before the manger and the wise men and the gifts. It is a story of amazing faithfulness and amazing faithlessness, a story of God vindicating His people and a story of His people abandoned by their God. It is a story of the best and worst of human behavior, a story set centuries ago and yet completely contemporary in its presentation of the human capacity for good or ill.
To follow Jesus as an apprentice means we learn the story for ourselves and not throw the responsibility solely on a pastor or religious professional. To learn the story is to be armed against pastors and politicians who sometime say outrageous things and claim the Bible for their support. For the person who continues to learn the story can recognize when text are abused out of not only their context but the context of the whole story from Genesis to Revelation.