As iron sharpens iron, so one person sharpens another. (Proverbs 27:17)
We need someone to sharpen us, mentor us and simply be there for us. Did Jesus have a mentor, someone he learned things from? Of course. It was Joseph, His earthly father. What a choice God made! He learned to work with wood as a carpenter and caught the heart of a man of God at home. He followed the example of a man who emulated the way to walk. Before Jesus was born, Joseph was listening and responding quickly to God. Have you ever wondered about their conversations together in the workshop? Are you curious what an earthly dad would say to a heavenly Son? Joseph had much to share about his journey with his “loaned son.” Jesus was his first-born son, too. From all of those years waiting for a child, he had much to share.
Luke records in his Gospel the story of the birth of Jesus, from Mary’s perspective. However, it is Matthew, a former tax collector, who gives another view of those early formative years for Jesus. How did Matthew find out those facts? I have no doubt about it; Jesus told him about His earthly father and his sensitive heart for God. Reread Matthew’s account and you will hear the story of a man who God personally chose as His Son’s earthly mentor. Jesus was proud of His earthly dad; you can feel it in Matthew’s account.
Someone is watching you today. Maybe it is someone at home or even another whom you are leading. They are trying to figure out what to believe, how to walk with God, and what to do with their present, as well as their future. Jesus did not share Joseph’s fine carpentry skills with Matthew; instead, He described Joseph’s passion to follow God regardless of what it cost him. Someone is learning something from your example right now. Possibly, it is not how to lead, but rather how to “be”.
How many outlines from sermons you have heard over the years do you actually remember? Ask me that question and I will tell you, none! But I do remember how those who taught and led me felt about their Lord and me. I recall how their eyes glistened when they thought of Christ. I still feel today the tone of their voices, as they spoke of their First Love.
Mentors have great influence and cast long shadows. Who are you touching today?