Moses' View on Discipleship
I’ve taught many times on discipleship and like many others, I talk about Jesus and his disciples or Paul’s relationship with Timothy and eventually 2 Timothy 2:2 which says, “what you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable people who will be qualified to teach others.” These are great, and arguably primary, examples of discipleship for us to look towards. Recently, however, I was presented with another idea. It wasn’t given to me in terms of discipleship but as I thought about it, it just started to click.
Have you ever stopped to think about the relationship Moses and Joshua had. Joshua was, in many ways, Moses’ right hand man. They had to have had some interesting conversations.
Moses walked and talked with God in ways we can’t fathom. He saw God’s glory so closely that his face glowed. When Moses died, he was buried by God himself and to this day that location is not known. WOW! Moses did not, however, step foot into the promised land. He was only allowed to see it from across the river.
Joshua became the man in charge at that point leading the Israelites. What must have that been like for him? To see all that he got to see walking with Moses and then suddenly thrown into the leaders roll, must have felt like pretty big sandals to fill.
Do you think that during those months and years of traveling from Egypt and wondering through the wilderness Moses ever looked over to Joshua and said, “now when I’m gone here’s some things you’re going to need to know” or “beware of this clan, they’re going to be trouble for you.” Or did Joshua say to Moses, “hey, I know you’re not going to be around forever so how should I navigate this?”
In his book “To Own A Dragon,” Donald Miller talks about a time where he was on a plane. He plugged his headphones in to the armrest but only partially. What he heard was air traffic communication. Many routes have several flights a day just an hour or so spread from one another. The earlier flight is radioing back to the next flight saying “this is what you can expect when you get here.” That flight then does the same for the flight following them. And so on…
Moses may have been doing that with Joshua but for the most part we do not see this type of thing going on in our culture or our churches. We are more likely to put our elderly out to pasture than to take advice from them. I wish I had a man in my life to pass this type of information along to me. Just to say, “when you get to this part of your life, this is what you can expect.” I strive daily to do this for those that I have the privilege of leading.
Ask yourself, is there someone who has already walked through what I am going through that could help me get through this better? Then, whether you found that person or not, pass some information along to the person that is about to walk through what you just came out of.
I believe Moses did for Joshua and then Joshua did for those who came behind him. Why should it be different for us?