Sharon and I have joined a “huddle” (a discipleship small group-ish), and we are all assigned verses to look at, then read and say this is how I see discipleship at work. Everyone in the group gets verses from the New Testament except me.
My assignment is a few verses from Genesis 6. I want to raise my hand and say, “Hey, Peter, Paul, John, Andrew, Barnabas, none of them are in that verse.” And I’m kind of certain I’m reading the flood account of Noah.
Sure enough Genesis 6:9 says, “This is the account of Noah and his family. Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.”
Then it hit me, Genesis 6:9 lays out Noah’s discipleship in reverse order. Moses tells the story starting with the result of Noah’s discipleship, then his community influence, and ending with the beginning key. If I were to put them in chronological order, it would look like this:
1. He walked faithfully with God.
An unheard of occurrence in his day, and a rare occurrence in our day. The foundation of Noah’s discipleship (and our’s) is walking faithfully with God. Such a walk leads Noah to hear God’s voice to build an ark when as that great theologian Bill Cosby says that Noah then asked, “What’s an ark?” And God told him.
2. Blameless among the people.
Walking faithfully with God leads you to walk blameless with people. Is Noah perfect? Not so much, especially later in Genesis. Noah does know to turn to God, to deal with sin issues in Genesis 8. Walking faithfully with God leads Noah to be blameless among the people.
3. A Righteous Man.
One who walks faithfully with God and is blameless among the people sounds like a great definition of a righteous man.
Discipleship at its best leads to walking faithfully with God, and being blameless among the people. Jesus describes this as loving God and loving others. Such followers of Christ we need to raise up today and all together pursue with God’s grace to be who God desires to make us to be in Christ.
Pays to keep learning. Genesis 6:9 reminds me discipleship is not merely a New Testament phenomenon. Great disciples like Noah are around in the Old Testament as well. Who in the Old Testament is inspiring your walk with God today?