Recently, someone posted the following question on a Christian ministry discussion board:
Do you think that Jesus’ model of discipleship is for today? And if it is how do you see it being applied and lived out?
Here is my answer:
Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He must have known a thing or two about discipleship. Yes, I belive that Jesus’ way of discipleship is relevant today. The reason…people are fundamentally the same across time. Sure our culture and technology changes. But the inner workings (the will, intellect, emotions, heart, soul, spirit, etc.) remain the same.
Here are some of the lessons that I believe we can learn from Jesus:
-Jesus did the will of the Father. He was guided by a call not need.
-Jesus focused on a small group and really concentrated his focus on three men.
-These men shared life together. They didn’t just meet once a week. Is this possible today? Not in quite the same way for most of us. But we can sure be a lot closer than most in the Body are today.
-Jesus looked for teachable moments.
-Jesus got away to be alone with the Father. We all need to recharge… even the best mentors.
-Jesus walked among the people and even went into the Temple to teach. I believe this shows us that there are hurting people both inside and outside of the Church that need to be discipled.
-Jesus loved those who nobody else would.
-Jesus let the disciples learn on their own and be tested. I am reminded of when Jesus slept while the storms raged around the boat. This was a test, and the disciples didn’t pass.
-Jesus sent the disciples out to minister. He gave them room to grow.
-Jesus told the truth. Jesus let the disciples know that they would all deny him, even Peter. When the disciples were foolish, he told them they were acting foolish.
-Jesus served the disiciples. From making them breakfast after the resurrection to washing their feet before it, Jesus met their needs and never asked them to do something he was not willing to do first.
-Jesus sacrificed to save them. Later the disciples would be called to do the same.
-Jesus lived the divine live, the highest life, as a model to the disciples. They later learned how to tap into this supernatural power source.
-Jesus called them to follow Him. He never begged anyone to be His disciple.
-Jesus did the impossible to show the disciples that all things are possible with God.
-Jesus never demonstrated fear of men only fear of God.
-Jesus forgave the disciples. Stop and think about how Jesus restored Simon Peter after this boastful disciple denied Christ.
-Jesus knew the Scriptures and spoke about it to His disciples. -Jesus loved because He is love.
I believe this model works today. We’ve tried being “relevant” and following the latest minister fad. Why not try what Jesus demonstrated works?