The other speaker at the Inner Mission youth ministry conference in Oslo, in addition to me, was Knut Tveitereid, who teaches at the NLA University College, a Christian and Lutheran university in Norway. He spoke about the different approaches to discipleship and what it means to follow Jesus. He said that we can distinguish three distinct, but related ministries of Jesus: Jesus of Galilee, Jesus of Jerusalem, and the post-resurrection Jesus.Jesus of Galilee went about doing good–healing, reconciling, feeding the hungry, etc. Some approaches to discipleship emphasize the need to imitate Jesus in doing similar good works. The slogan is “What Would Jesus Do?”
Jesus of Jerusalem offered Himself as a sacrifice for the sins of the world. He bore our sins, died on the cross, and rose from the dead, thereby atoning for the sins of the world and offering free redemption through the forgiveness of sin. This approach to discipleship stresses evangelism. The slogan is “What Did Jesus Do?”
The post-Resurrection Jesus continues to live today and is really present in Word and Sacrament. He ascended into Heaven to take His place in the Holy Trinity, so that now He fills creation. Before His ascension, He promised to be “with” His people, and so He is. This approach to discipleship stresses worship and prayer. The slogan is “What Is Jesus Doing?”
Knut said that all three dimensions of Christ’s ministry are important for Christians today. He said that the Bible itself emphasizes what Jesus did in Jerusualem, so that the Gospel should be the foundation for any attempts to emulate Jesus. He also said that today we are most neglecting the post-Resurrection Jesus, calling for a renewed emphasis on Christ’s presence and His actions in Baptism, Holy Communion, and His living Word.