Jesus needs to disciple these fishermen, tax collectors, and political revolutionaries who dropped their careers to follow him. I’m not sure we’ve understood the ramifications of his decision. We just think, Oh, yeah, the disciples, and forget what was actually required for them to become apostles. This is going to take a lot of work. There’s no fairy godmother waving her wand here; these pumpkins don’t just turn into coaches.
To be a crowd-drawing teacher can be a rather heady experience, all eyes looking to you for the next bit of wisdom to drop from your lips. It’s easy to be gracious when you’re adored. But when your class keeps missing the point, challenging you, running down rabbit trails, changing the subject, misunderstanding, breaking out into a brawl—that’s when your character is exposed. I never really saw the endurance of this. I think the shining brilliance of what Jesus is teaching has obscured the process involved here, all that this required of him. We’ve become so used to Jesus being gracious, kind, and patient, we miss the humility of it.