After the masses abandon Jesus because of his “hard” teaching, Jesus turns to his twelve disciples and offers one of the most touching, heartbreaking, and haunting questions of his life: “Do you also wish to go away?” What do you do when Jesus’ teaching is hard to understand? Can you love the God you don’t understand?
Many view ministers as nothing but effeminate and incompetent individuals, sniveling wimps who are unable to hold down a “real job.” But according to Paul, ministers are action heroes. Paul offers three examples of faithful ministry: A faithful minister must be like a single-minded soldier, a self-disciplined and law-abiding athlete, and a hard-working farmer.
Ministry to others is a source of great joy and of frustration. Our benevolent actions are not always appreciated. Our good intentions are sometimes misunderstood. Our personal sacrifices may go unrecognized and unrewarded. This is the reason we need a tough hide and a tender heart: that we might practice patient ministry for the good of others.
Children learn by first observing, then imitating, and only then, beginning to master the rules and gain understanding of their significance. We learn faith in the same way. We “bear witness” to the truth through what we say and do – “Follow me as I follow Christ.” Never underestimate the power of an example. It attracts and transforms.