My inbox lately has been filled with emails asking me to sign up for a “master class.” They have ranged from a course on discipleship to marriage to cooking and even to hunting. These messages proudly proclaim that if you listen closely to the teaching, you will soon master the given topic.
Everyone who reads those advertisements knows that they are an overstatement. Becoming a master at any craft requires teaching, plus guidance and experience. The experience comes from numerous attempts that both try and fail. There are no shortcuts to developing the skills needed to accomplish what we desire. These classes may give us a solid starting point; the rest is up to us.
Jesus called twelve men to be his disciples. He offered them the ultimate master class. They sat at the feet of Jesus, our Lord and Savior, listening to him teach about life, faith, and eternity. Not only that, but he also mentored them through their first preaching adventures and helped develop their fledgling faith. He poured his life into them for over three years, trying to develop them into fully mature disciples. Despite all his tutelage, one of those twelve men denied knowing him, and one betrayed him. The other ten scattered when he went to the cross.
I suppose Jesus could have offered people to take his master class on faith, but he didn’t because he knew you could not master faith by listening to someone else teach. It requires you to attempt to do it for yourself. Fail. Then attempt to do it again and fail. Then try again and again.
This Sunday, I will preach and pour out everything in my heart to help people in their walk of faith. Every week I feel like I am teaching a master class on spiritual growth. Still, it will not help you if you do not try to implement it. And even then, you will repeatedly fail until you get it right. The only way to develop a mature faith is to spend a lifetime walking with the master.