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What a Rumor Taught Me About Discipleship

A CRAZY RUMOR erupted on our wedding anniversary cruise.

Before we even boarded, a just-met passenger whispered, “The new CEO who just purchased this cruise line is a passenger!”

Of course, my head swiveled around to see if I could spot the big-wig.

As the week went on, rumors flew like the norovirus. Who is the CEO? Where is that VIP? Are they dining among us “little people”?

One night, a passenger even turned to me and asked, “Are you the CEO?” By this time, if someone stooped to ask if I was the undercover boss, I knew people were desperate.

Mystery. Not. Solved.


During the week, I didn’t mind the attention and care the staff lavished on us passengers. Until I thought: Do they not know who the dignitary is? Are they covering their kindness bases just in case the new owner was one of us?

Certainly their attitude toward us couldn’t be for real—or could it?

So, here’s my discipleship discovery:

Jesus IS among us

Like the TV show Undercover Boss, Jesus, the “Important One,” the “King of Kings” walks among us. We just think he must be someone else.

Jesus said, “When you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!” (Matthew 25:40). The point? “The least of these” are “all of these.” Anyone you relate to. It’s not just the literal hungry, thirsty, or imprisoned—it’s the person hungering for friendship, thirsting for authenticity, imprisoned by self-doubt.

Our new Friends of God discipleship experience immerses people in weeks of actually experiencing what it means to be with Jesus and other friends of God.

Instead of just studying the principles of discipleship, you DO them. For example, we place sticky hearts on tangible examples of the heart of Jesus, and practice two-way communication exercises to underscore prayer’s two-way communication.

Imagining you’re with Jesus changes you.

Bonus: It’s fun to imagine anyone could be “The One”!

Just think, if we treated each other as if we each were someone really important (which we are)! Don’t fool yourself. You are a child of God—as are all those God puts in your path.

How it would change our world if we treated each other as if we were in Jesus’ presence. A quaint fable called “Martin the Cobbler” unfolds how…

Martin hoped to get a visit from Jesus. Instead he encountered an array of people—a mother and her baby, a hungry young thief, old men, sad children—all who experienced his kindness. His day ended in disappointment because he never met Jesus. Until he heard a whisper, “It is I.” It was Jesus saying, “Whatever you do to the least of these…”

Let this be the year when we treat one another with an extra dose of kindness, an extra dose of love. For we never know…


On the departing flight, a cruise passenger leaned toward me to whisper, “See that lady? She’s the cruise line CEO.”

“Her?” Um, not who I expected…

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What a Rumor Taught Me About Disciple...

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