“Failure is an element of being a disciple.” As McKnight observes, disciples mess up. Although God calls us to “Be perfect, as I am perfect,” we don’t actually live up to this.

McKnight continues, “When we fall, Jesus picks us up. He’s busy. A disciple is called to love God and to love others, and this means: trust completely, abide constantly, and surrender totally.” As we’ve already said, we don’t measure up to this. Our trust is incomplete. Our abidance is inconstant. Our surrender is only partial. Yet, when we fail, Jesus extends his hand.

McKnight offers a series of restoration: “Failure is followed by rebuke, and rebuke by repentance, and repentance by restoration.” Jesus does not leave his disciples in their failure. He corrects those he loves. If we respond to his rebuke in repentance, restoration is offered. We can’t necessarily return to the way things were, but Jesus offers forgiveness (which we’ll discuss tomorrow).