D I S C I P L E S H I P 5 simplifying deep truths is a concept easily understood—but in- complete. Jesus isn’t the “end game” for disciples. A deep rela- tionship with the triune Godhead is: Father, Son, and Spirit. Jesus facilitated that through His death, burial, and resurrection, yes. But there is more to this than just Jesus alone. This leads us directly to the third factor affecting discipleship. There is a decided lack of proper hermeneutics (or, proper Bible interpretation) being taught in churches today. Hermeneutics is “(a) the study and statement of the principles on which a text— for present purposes, the biblical text—is to be understood, or (b) the interpretation of the text in such a way that its message comes home to the reader or hearer.”1 When we tell disciples that the Bible is a book about Jesus, we tremendously narrow the focus of God’s chief revelation to man. The danger in this type of hermeneutic is that our disciples may never learn about the true character and nature of God. Thus, they don’t love God for who He truly is, because they don’t know who He truly is. They run the risk of falling in love with an attribute of God, instead of God Himself. Or worse, they fall in love with an inaccurate un- derstanding of who God is, and that is idolatry. If discipleship is helping disciples develop and maintain a deep, abiding relation- ship with God, then knowing Him, as He has revealed Himself to us, is paramount. If our hermeneutics are off, then our un- derstanding of who God is becomes distorted. And thus, our relationship with Him is also distorted. How does the story of Micah and the Levite in Judges 17 reveal something about Jesus? As a good friend and committed disciple told me, “Taking that approach teaches people how to read the Bible above the surface. There is zero digging going on.” Bible study requires effort and skill, and the Church needs to train her disciples in those skills. Here’s the rub. Teaching a disciple the principles and applica- tions associated with proper biblical interpretation is challenging, 1 D. R. W. Wood; I. Howard Marshall, New Bible Dictionary. 3rd ed. (Leicester, England; Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 1996) S. 467.