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A Hand-Me-Down Art

Exodus 35:30-31 & 34
Then Moses said to the people of Israel, “See, the LORD has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship. … And he has inspired him to teach, both him and Oholiab the son of Ahisamach of the tribe of Dan.”

Moses repeats his earlier description of Bezalel almost verbatim, yet with one addition: “And he has inspired him to teach.” That’s seems significant to me, friend, because Bezalel can’t pass on his unrivaled genius to would-be craftsmen, of course; he can’t simply copy and paste his superior mental vision onto a parchment so that future innovators can share his mind. But he can demonstrate to all those with willing hands and serving hearts the basics of each craft so that they, too, expert or novice, can imitate their God through this good and holy creative endeavor.

Isn’t that a picture of discipleship? Doesn’t that illustrate our great commission wonderfully? Ultimately, the life of faith isn’t a solitary pilgrimage to the Promised Land or an individualized attainment of virtue for virtue’s sake. In fact, that heavenly ‘well done thou good and faithful servant,’ which God bestows on us as our highest honor, isn’t so much a memorializing of our own one-of-a-kind achievements in the world, but a recognition of the disciple-making mission we carried out in our homes and churches and neighborhoods, etc. “Imitate me as I imitate the LORD,” Paul wrote to young Timothy, because the heart of the mission is imitation. How well are we doing with the talents and opportunities God has given to us, friend? Are we faithfully passing on the good news through our words and showing the good life through our actions and demonstrating the good way through our spiritual discipline? Seriously: are we making any difference in someone’s life for the glory of God or not?

Imagine where you’d be today if Christ hadn’t stooped down to your level to teach you how to love like Him and serve like Him and live like Him and even die like Him? Let’s imitate His humility. Wrap your arm around someone—a child, a new believer, a neighbor—and make it your vocation to pour into them all that God has poured into you.