Jesus the Discipler

the Gospel of Matthew
Image by humberpike via Flickr

It is fascinating to me that one of the very first things Jesus did upon beginning his public ministry was to draft disciples.  Jesus knew that his time on earth was short and that he was not going to be around physically to lead this new movement.  So he immediately began training others.

There were four major components to Jesus training of his disciples:

(1) Teaching.  Jesus taught his disciples and taught them repetitively.  He taught them in large groups and small.  He taught them one on one (remember the lesson he gives Peter about paying taxes in Matthew 17:24-27).  There is no substitute for instruction.

(2)  Modeling.  A number of Jesus’ disciples lived with him, walked with him, ate with him, suffered with him.  They saw him live out everything he taught them.  He showed them how to do what he taught them to do.  We really need people to show us how to live the Christian life.

(3) On the Job Training.  Jesus put his disciples to work after sufficient training to further their training.  He sent them to do in the villages what he had done, then he had them report to him and debriefed them (Matthew 10; Luke 10).

(4) Love.  Jesus loved his disciples.  He even gave special attention to a select number of them (the 12), had an inner circle (Peter, James and John) and was said to love one of them (John).  He loved them all, but he developed varying levels of relationship with them all.  You must love the ones you disciple.

We don’t know how long we are going to be here physically to lead our families, to lead in our churches or our places of work.  So we need to train others.  Jesus is our model.


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