And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
2 Timothy 2:2
In preparing to run a relay race athletes practice the baton hand-off again and again. A fumbled, or illegal, baton pass can disqualify the entire team from that particular race. Once a very strong runner was substituting the first leg of such a race. Knowing that he could run the whole race faster than any of the opposing team could run their sections he refused to pass the baton. Finishing well ahead of the next place runner he beamed at his coach, looking for approval only to find that he had, single-handedly, lost the race for his team. This is what Paul tells Timothy: "Don't just train runners- Train baton passers." The Church doesn't need more heroes, it needs more believers passionately passing "the baton" of God's word through the day by day process of discipleship.
Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith...
In 4th grade we were taught how to juggle. I worked hard to get proficient at it: practicing at home, reading books, and watching instructional movies. The real breakthrough came when I realized where I was looking. I had been trying to focus on each ball individually as I threw and caught. Being unable to focus on more than one thing at once failure was inevitable. I learned that if I focused on a still point past the balls I could keep them in the air with relative ease. Focusing on our individual problems and situations causes everything else to tumble. As we focus on Christ, in whom we are seated, He is able to do all things through us!
For when one says, "I am of Paul," and another, "I am of Apollos," are you not carnal?
1 Corinthians 3:4
We so often read this verse with a sort of hypocrisy. We think, "If I had lived then, I wouldn't have been a part of this kind of silliness." We then turn around and talk about the writers and theologians, churches and schools, that we follow. It is comical that with this very verse in the Bible there are yet churches called "Lutheran", "Calvinist", "Wesleyan" and the like. We don't need to hitch our wagon to Augustine, Calvin, Luther, Chafer, Osteen, Warren, or anyone else. We need, as individuals and as a church body, to look to Jesus Christ and His word alone. For He alone was crucified for us.
And He said to them, "It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father has put in His own authority." Acts 1:7
In examining church history (and even the last two years) this may be one of the most tragically ignored statements Jesus ever made (right behind, "As I have loved you, so love ye one another.") Whether Karesh, Camping, Heaven's Gate, 2012 or anyone else we prove that people are irresistibly drawn to those things that cannot be known. There is, however, another side to the Lord's injunction on His special messengers (the Apostles) as He prepares them to be sent out. They are to focus on what they DO know. That is what a witness is, not one who conjectures about the unknown, but one who testifies to what he has seen. Better news yet...the apostles then, and we today, are not witnesses of whatwe know, but Who we know.