Monday, June 1, 2015 4:42 AM

Jesus' Concept of Discipleship

Monday, June 1, 2015 4:42 AM
Monday, June 1, 2015 4:42 AM

The concept of discipleship Jesus introduced ran counter to the prevailing notion of the teacher-disciple relationship. Jesus was not making disciples who would learn of him, become independent of him, and then make disciples of their own. His goal was that his disciples would make disciples not of themselves but that they would go forth to make disciples of Jesus. There are at least six ways Jesus taught his disciples to make disciples of himself:

  1. They are to deliver the same message: “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matt. 4:17).
  2. They are to exercise his compassion: “When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd” (Matt. 9:36).
  3. They are to follow the same religious and social traditions of Jesus (Matt. 12:1–8). “Look! Your disciples are doing what is unlawful on the Sabbath” (v. 2).
  4. The disciples all belong to the same family of obedience (Matt. 12:46–50). “Whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother” (v. 50).
  5. The disciples are to emulate the servanthood attitude of Jesus (Matt. 20:24–28). “Whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant … just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (vv. 26–28).
  6. Jesus’ disciples share in his destiny of suffering (Matt. 10:16–25). “On my account you will be brought before governors and kings…. When they arrest you, do not worry” (vv. 18–19).[1]

[1] Webber, R. (2003). Ancient-future evangelism: Making your church a faith-forming community (71–72). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books.


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