1 Corinthians 11: Mentorship
Paul may seem a little bit egocentric at the beginning of 1 Corinthians 11, but I think he is trying to point out the importance of discipleship within the Christian community.
1Co 11:1 Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ.
1Co 11:2 Now I praise you, brethren, that ye remember me in all things, and keep the ordinances, as I delivered them to you.
Paul is not comparing himself to Jesus Christ by any means. He was one who clearly understood that all of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. He would never compare himself to Jesus Christ, but in this chapter he identified as one who was committed to following Jesus Christ. Although he was not one of the original disciples, the term disciple applies in my opinion. He was committed to following the teachings that he had been given.
When Jesus went back to heaven, He commanded the apostles to go across the world and create disciples. How would those newly converted disciples know anything unless they were emulating the example of their teachers? In elementary school, we learn mathematics from our teachers who already know mathematics. It is not that our teachers are the source of mathematics, but they can help guide us along the way as we learn more and more about that subject.
Christians are the same way. We need others alongside us to help us nurture our relationship with Jesus Christ. Mentors are valuable; they can see things that we don’t recognize about ourselves. People were not made to live in isolation. Friends and teachers are important for all of us. Paul understood that he was able to provide this type of service to the church in Corinth. He could help them develop into a more mature church. He could provide that type of mentoring.
I hope that we all have some type of support structure like this in our own lives to continually help us and challenge us to move closer to Jesus Christ.