As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, He saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed Him.
Yesterday, we learned that the church’s mission is to “make disciples.” Today we will look at Jesus’ METHOD for making disciples. From the four Gospels, it is clear that Jesus invited a small group of men to follow Him, that He might impart His Father’s will and vision into their hearts. Then, they could carry on His mission after His departure. This process began with an invitation to “Come, follow me.” Jesus invites us into this kind of relationship with Himself. Once we accept this invitation, we are to live with Him and allow Him to teach us through the Holy Spirit.
The twelve disciples that said “Yes!” to the invitation, left their entire world behind in order to be with Jesus for 3 ½ years. They lived in close proximity with Jesus. They ate with Him. They traveled with Him. They slept with Him. They ministered with Him. All the time, Jesus was modeling the heart of the Father to His disciples. They were learning who God was by being with Jesus. Before His death, He promised His disciples that He would not leave them alone. He promised to send the Holy Spirit to them so that they could continue to be with Him even after His departure.
For 3 ½ years, Jesus used His influence to teach His disciples concerning the kingdom of God. The more they got to know Him, the more influence He had with them. Jesus was intentionally influencing His disciples’ thought processes with the transformational truth of God’s Word. From Jesus’ model of discipleship, we learn that discipleship is intentional, relational, and organic. In this modern age, we attempt to make disciples through methods of mass production. There is a lot of learning going on but not much life transformation happening. There are no shortcuts to spiritual maturity. It takes time, commitment, and relational proximity. This is how Jesus made disciples! If we are going to be a Great Commission Church, we must follow Jesus’ example.
The Big Question
What is the difference between informational discipleship and transformational discipleship? Who is your Barnabas – who is pouring into you spiritually? Who is your Timothy – who are you pouring into spiritually? What does following Jesus look like for you? What have you given up to follow Jesus? Who are you doing life with spiritually?
Spend some time in prayer meditating on what God revealed to you today.