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(Non)Mutuality? [ENG]

Mentor. Buddy. Coach. Friend. Master. Discipel. Student. Slave.

This morning I read the passage from Luke 17. It reads “So you also, when you have done all that you were commanded, say: ‘We are unworthy servants, we have only done what was our duty.’"

We’re slaves.


Even the word ‘unworthy’ was used.

Is Luke talking about us too?


When talking about discipleship, mentoring, coaching - pic your favourite - we all want to be helped. Our ‘master’ gives advice, our coach gives direction. We all want that. Maybe it is unconscious but we might have an attitude of mutuality here. The coach advices and I choose what to do with it. And of course the choice is ours. We choose with we do it or not. Bring the advice into practice or not. In our western society I see this even more. Who would that other person think he is that he/she would speak into my life and tell me what to do? I decide. Mutuality.

Mutuality sometimes is a hindrance to growth. Especially the things we don’t know yet, we simply need to accept these lessons from the ‘master’ and obey, listen to the ‘coach’ and bring it into practice. I used the word obey, obedience, that is a non-popular word nowadays, but oh so important for growth. Obedience leads to growth.


Jesus - not a fisherman - tells Peter - with years of experience as a fisherman - that he needs to put his nets on the other side of the boat. There must have been multiple reasons for Peter to explain Jesus why this was not a good idea. Take the rudder for example, the net would get around the rudder and it all would get stuck. No steering - not a good idea Jesus. Peter had experience - Jesus didn’t right? However Peter simply does what Jesus tells him - and look at the result.

>>> read John 21:6-10 <<<

Friends - same level. Mutual. Sure, but let’s never forget that being a disciple in the context of the Bible does not mean mutuality. It is all about the master and following him in everything. Follow. Serve. He is the teacher - he teaches us.

Question and reflection: Were do you (unconsciously) have an idea of mutuality when it comes to discipleship? How can you follow Jesus and let him be the Master in your life?

Not mutual

Jesus is the Master - we follow Him.

Jesus is the Master - we are slaves.

Jesus is the Master - we are the students.

This is not mutual. And of course we will never measure up to Jesus - or make an attempt to do so - we don’t see Jesus and ourselves as mutual but often we treat His commands like advice. Great guidelines to think and study about and maybe put into practice. We decide. I still often see this in my own life. My desire however is to grow. To grow in obedience. Simply do, obey, put into practice. By doing what He says we will grow and begin to like more like Him.


Years ago I worked in a guitar-shop. Top-notch. Boutique. And the master-guiter-builder is Sjak Zwier. My friend he is - sure, but also very much my master. He knows how to do it - I don’t. And so he helped me in the process of building a guitar. Choosing the wood, using the tools, sanding, sharing, adjusting, everything. And I listened and obeyed. End of story I have a very nice guitar - superb sound, great shape. Master-piece. Without my obedience to Sjak it would have been a total fiasco.

The discipleship relation is not mutual. One is the master, the other is the student. And that is not only true for Jesus and us. This is also true when we think about how we disciple others. Think Paul and Timothy. Think Moses and Joshua.

It the relation there should be a healthy non-mutuality. That is a good thing. It should not be a ‘rule’ over one-another faith (2 Corinthians 1:24) but the ‘master’ who calls his disciples to look at Jesus and follow Him. Like Paul said: follow me as I follow Christ (1 Corinthians 11:1)

Question and reflection: How does this non-mutuality look like in your life? How do you experience that? Who is leading you? Where do you see growth? Does this have something to do with the way you obey Jesus and do what He says? How are you reflecting Jesus in the way you lead others?


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