Are we apprentices of Jesus when we say we are, or when we begin to do the things he taught? Are we willing to take Jesus seriously as the kind of teacher he intended to be? Hearing the message of Jesus in a way that can be good news for us in the here and now begins with an appreciation for the fact that he spoke with authority. Very simply, Jesus expected to be obeyed. He did not present an esoteric theory of God or the afterlife merely to stimulate the intellect. He believed he held the words of eternal life and that people would ignore his teachings at their own peril. And yet Jesus did not exercise the kind of power that would force people to obey him against their will. His teachings could only take root in the lives of free people--people liberated to surrender themselves to his authority and the reign of God.
So Paul took his stand in the open space at the Areopagus and laid it out for them: "I'm here to introduce you to this God.... He doesn't play hide-and-seek with us. He's not remote; he's near. We live and move in him, can't get away from him!" ~Acts 17