Who then is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord has made ruler over his household, to give them food at the proper time? Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he comes shall find so doing. (Mat 24:45-46 KJ2000)
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven, and gives life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst. (Joh 6:32-35 KJ2000)
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whosoever eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, dwells in me, and I in him. As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eats me, even he shall live by me. (Joh 6:53-57 KJ2000)
I have never thought of this passage in Matthew ch. 24 as applying to me until a brother wrote recently and did just that. I still see myself as an “unprofitable servant” and am more at home with this thought than being a “mentor.” I once prayed, “Lord, make me like your Son, that I would only do the works that I see you doing and only speak the words I hear you saying.” I had enough time to think to myself, “Boy, that sure was a righteous prayer.” To this He answered, “No, my son, that is only the starting point!” We all have so much of our selves to lose and so much of Jesus to still be apprehended and walked in.
So this whole experience has got me pondering, “What is true mentoring as we walk in Christ?” We often hear a heart’s cry from someone begging that we would “mentor them.” Is this a true New Testament activity of those whom God calls to lead? If so, how is it done? Paul said, “Follow me even as I follow Christ.” Yet, John said that we have no need that any man teach us, but that the unction we have received as believers in Christ will teach us all things that we need (see 1 John 2:26-27). Was Paul seeking “followers” or was he really saying, “Just as I follow Christ, so should you follow Him”? I believe that the only one who can mentor us is Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit whom He has sent in His place.
This brings to mind the other passages that I quoted above from John. Here Jesus speaks of Himself as the true bread from heaven and goes on to say, “I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst.” Couple this with, “Whosoever eats my flesh, and drinks my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.” Later in the Gospel of John Jesus referred to Himself as the True Vine to whom all who believe are attached as His living branches. It is from the Vine that we drink and eat of our Life Source. It is from Him that we first receive and then grow in our eternal life (a life without end) as long as we are attached to Him as our Vine (Read what He said in John chapter 15)!
There was a time I was a conference junkie. I couldn’t get enough of them. I would run to this Christian conference and that one to hear a special teacher, seeking to be filled, and within days after it was over, I was just as empty as ever. It was all so much empty calories and wasted expensive. It wasn’t until I found Jesus as my True Vine who provided all the spiritual food I needed that my spiritual hunger began to be satisfied. I did the same thing with “pastors,” too. I was like a spiritual infant, running around with my umbilical cord in my hand looking for a man to plug-in to. Many of them took advantage of this and sucked me right into their own subterfuge and false teachings as they took the place in my life that belonged to Jesus alone.
So, what is the responsibility of the older saints that have had years of experience in Christ and have learned from their mistakes (this is what it truly means to be an elder in Christ’s body)? Are we to be such great pastors and teachers that all hang on our every word and follow us around like a bunch of little orphaned puppies? Doesn’t it make sense that if we are to be “a faithful and wise servant… over his household, to give them food at the proper time,” that the only proper food in that proper time that we should be providing the household of God is Jesus Himself? Shouldn’t we be pointing all who hunger and thirst to the Bread and Fountain of Life that they might find Christ as their sufficiency?
Jesus warned, “But you be not called Rabbi: for one is your Teacher, even Christ; and all you are brothers” (Mat 23:8 KJ2000). Call no man Rabbi or teacher! Only Jesus through His Spirit is to be our Teacher. We are ALL brethren (siblings) under the same Teacher. The goal of the Father is for us to become just as our Teacher! Looking to men for what we need is not going to get us there. The best thing I can do for you or any other person who is serious about their calling in Christ to is keep pointing you to the truth that is only found IN the Christ who is our Truth! How can we become perfected in the eyes of the Father if we are not becoming as our Teacher? How can we become AS our Teacher when we are constantly looking to mere men for what we want. Like Paul said to the Corinthians,
And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ. I have fed you with milk, and not with solid food… For you are yet carnal: for while there is among you envying, and strife, and divisions, are you not carnal, and walk as men? For while one says, I am of Paul; and another, I am of Apollos; are you not carnal? Who then is Paul, and who is Apollos, but ministers (Greek: servants) by whom you believed… I have laid the foundation, and another builds thereon. But let every man take heed how he builds thereupon. For no other foundation can a man lay than what is laid, which is Jesus Christ… Know you not that you are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?… Therefore let no man glory in men. For all things are yours; Whether Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come; all are yours; And you are Christ’s; and Christ is God’s. (1Co 3:1-23 KJ2000)
The carnal church of today spends way too much time focusing on human teachers and the “gifted” among men. Is it any wonder that most Christians are suffering from milk anaemia? Our true food and true drink is the flesh and blood of the True Vine which came down from the right hand of the Father in heaven who said, “He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood dwells in me and I in Him. As… I live by the Father: so he that eats me, even he shall live by me.” Or as Paul put it, “In Him we live and move and have our being.” First we believe INTO Him by HIS faith operating in us and from that point on we live IN Him and get all our life sustenance from Jesus our Vine. After that the spiritual fruit comes forth naturally as we rest IN Him. Even fruit bearing is all HIS doing.
By the power of Christ in me I will keep pointing you to Jesus and away from myself and others as long as we communicate. I hope that you have sensed this in all that we write as well. If you see me trying to draw away disciples after myself, let me know for this is anti-christ and so many so-called “ministers” today are doing just that (See Paul’s warning to the church in Acts 20: 29-31).
And this is the promise that he has promised us, even eternal life. These things have I written unto you concerning them that deceive you. But the anointing which you have received of him abides in you, and you need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teaches you of all things… you shall ABIDE IN HIM. And now, little children, abide in him; that, when he shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming. (1Jo 2:25-28 KJ2000 – emphasis added)
Dear saints, I entreat you to pray that the Spirit shows you the depth of what it means to abide IN Christ as your only Life source just as the branch abides in the vine. You will never experience the riches of Christ while nursing from the breasts of men and women in your lives who seek to take His place.