The Intention of Doing and the Urgency of Becoming

Mark 3:14-15
14 He appointed twelve — designating them apostles-that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach 15 and to have authority to drive out demons.NIV

Matt 4:19
19″Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” NIV

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the relationship between becoming and doing. I believe behavior flows from identity and therefore the target of transformation must always be the inward transformation of identity and core beliefs rather than the management of behaviors.

This does not make bahavior unimportant. Becoming doesn’t make doing obsolete. I wonder in what ways our core beliefs regarding what we are to do impact the entire becoming process?

Jesus called his disciples to follow him, to be with him. This speaks to the becoming aspect of discipleship. But the context for this very relational becoming is defined in these passages in terms of the desired outcome on a behavioral level. Metaphorically, Jesus will make the disciples fishers of men. More explicitly, Jesus intends to send them out to preach and cast out demons.

I wonder if our discipleship efforts these days don’t suffer somewhat because disciples really have no intention of ever going and doing much of anything. Do new recruits in basic training invest more of themselves in learning what they need to learn and becoming what they need to become during a time of war when they actually intend to engage in battle than they would during a time of peace? Possibly.

If disciples of Christ really embraced a call to be witnesses within the culture and conduits of freedom, would that change the way we approach discipleship? Doing flows from becoming, but the becoming process is shaped by the intended outcome of doing. Remove the “I will make you to be fishers of men” from the discipleship equation, and the urgency of becoming is thereby removed.


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