Now when he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them…
For those of you who have been followers of Jesus for a long time you have probably read this verse many times. I know you have, because it is the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount. Next to Psalm 23, it is probably one of the most well know passages of scripture. Many times in jumping into the Beatitudes we also jump over the first two verses of chapter 5. In rushing through the first two verses is it possible we might have missed the foundation of our ministry.
Jesus, as he begins this sermon, this powerful, transformational, religion altering sermon, begins with the disciples sitting at His feet ready to learn from Him. How often do you sit at the feet of Jesus waiting for Him to teach you? Most of the time we set our agenda with His word; we set our agenda for Him in our prayers. When was the last time you simply set at the feet of Jesus and listened to His teaching? Listening to his voice and allowing Him to transform.
How do we do this? It has been 2000 years since Jesus walked on the earth. Yes, we have the word, but where do we begin. How do we allow Jesus to teach us? I think we must begin as the disciples did, sitting at His feet. There are lots of different approaches but one I have found particularly helpful over the years is an ancient spiritual discipline called Lectio Divina. Don’t let the term scare you; it is Latin for Divine Reading. Lectio is a practice of reading the word and really requires nothing from you other than a quite place to be still and sit at His feet.
Begin by sitting quietly, clearing your mind and breathing in deeply.
- Reading: Begin by reading the passage through slowly several times out loud.
- Meditation: Allow God’s spirit to speak to you. What is a word or phrase that really jumps out at you? What is the main idea of the passage? Spend some time focusing on aspects of the passage as they come to your mind.
- Prayer: Speak with God. You have allowed Him to speak, now connecting with Him, ask Him to continue to reveal His truth. What does your response need to be to the spirits nudging? How will His truth affect your life moving forward?
- Contemplation: Conclude this time by simply resting in his presence. Be still and know He is God.
You will notice this process requires a lot more silence than we are typically used to. Maybe through our silence we can hear the voice of God and truly sit at the feet of Jesus? When our ministry begins with us sitting at His feet and allowing Him to teach us, our lives will truly be transformed. It is then our ministries will begin to transform the lives of those around us.
Follow up: Here is a great passage you can begin with, Luke 10:38-42