Friday 17 May 2019
Jesus went up on a mountainside and called to him those he wanted, and they came to him. He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons. These are the twelve he appointed: Simon (to whom he gave the name Peter); James son of Zebedee and his brother John (to them he gave the name Boanerges, which means ‘sons of thunder’), Andrew, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Thomas, James son of Alphaeus, Thaddaeus, Simon the Zealot and Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him.
After Dainiel Ho had spoken to the church on Sunday 5 May on the subject of evangelism he also spoke to some of the leaders in the afternoon on the subject of discipleship, and he shared this passage from Mark’s Gospel.
Evangelism is sharing the good news of Jesus Christ in the power of the Holy Spirit and trusting God for the results. But this is just the start. Those who believe the good news of Jesus need to grow more like Jesus and be trained to share the good news themselves.
Jesus had a purpose in choosing twelve men. He wanted them to preach and drive out demons. But before they did any of this, he wanted them to ‘be with him’. They spend about three years with him. They ate together. They travelled together. They did things together.
The word ‘disciple’ is a translation of the Greek word ‘mathetes’ which means ‘learner’. We are all learners. The process that Jesus used to help his disciples learn included a mixture of formal and informal learning.
Sometimes Jesus sat with them and spoke to them. He explained the Old Testament scriptures to them and told parables to illustrate the Kingdom of God. Jesus also taught them by example. When he welcomed outcasts, healed the sick and drove out demons, the disciples were watching how he showed compassion and how he spoke with authority. And Jesus also taught by delegating responsibility. The disciples went out in pairs, preaching, healing and driving out demons. Then they came back, shared what God had done through them and Jesus gave them feedback (see Luke 10:1-23).
How are we doing as disciples of Jesus? What does it mean for us to ‘be with Jesus’ today? If we have introduced someone to Jesus, how can we help this person to grow as a disciple of Jesus?
Thomas Halley, Sawyers Church Leadership Team