So life in the kingdom is not just a matter of not doing what is wrong. The apprentices of Jesus are primarily occupied with the positive good that can be done during their days "under the sun" and the positive strengths and virtues that they develop in themselves as they grow toward "the kingdom prepared for them from the foundations of the world" (Matt. 25:34). What they, and God, get out their lifetime is chiefly the person they become. And that is why their real life is so important.
The cultivation of oneself, one's family, one's workplace and community--especially the community of believers--thus becomes the center of focus for the apprentice's joint life with his or her teacher. It is with this entire context in view that we most richly and accurately speak of "learning from him how to lead my life as he would lead my life if he were I."
(Image: slice of bookcover)