Today we will discuss ways Jesus was faithful to His disciples while on earth. Jesus faithfully loved, cared for, and served His disciples even when things were difficult. Throughout this discipleship study, Jesus is always our model. By looking at Jesus’ ways today, may we learn how to be faithful within our discipleship relationships.
Jesus’ Example of Faithfulness
Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.” Peter said to him, “Even if I must die with you, I will not deny you!” And all the disciples said the same.
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Jesus' Patience with the Disciples
Jesus was patient with His disciples. If you read through the gospels, you will find that the disciples didn’t get it most of the time, and yet Jesus stayed with them. He continued to love, teach, and guide them even though they struggled to understand at times. In Mark 8:14–21, Jesus warned His disciples of the Pharisees by relating their corruption to leaven in bread. The disciples immediately responded by discussing the fact that they did not have enough bread to eat. Jesus responded with, “Do you not yet perceive or understand?” (Mark 8:17). Jesus knew they didn’t get it, but He continued to teach and guide them.
In Matthew 26:30–35, Jesus predicted that the disciples would fall away as He headed to the cross. Specifically, He predicted Peter’s denial even though Peter swore on his life that he would not deny Jesus (Matthew 26:34–35). Despite Peter’s denial, Jesus did not give up on him. Peter became one of the leaders of the early church (Acts 2:14).
May we be patient with others as Jesus was. And may we understand how patient Jesus is with each of us—and offer the same patience to others.
Jesus watched over His disciples. He was always checking in on them. When He sent them out to do His work, He would call them back to hear a report. Mark 6:30 says, “The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught.” Jesus wanted to know how His disciples were doing and what they were doing. He listened and provided guidance. As we seek to be Christ’s disciples, may we understand our need for His oversight and guidance. As we make disciples, may we faithfully watch over the people God has entrusted to us.
Jesus' Follow Up
To confirm and reiterate the gospel, Jesus followed up with those He taught. In John 4:1–45, Jesus talked with a Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well, to whom He technically should not have been talking because she was a Samaritan and a woman. But Jesus gave all types of people dignity while He was on earth. He told her that He was the living water she needed. After the Samaritan woman believed, Jesus stayed in her town for two days where He continued to teach. John 4:41 tells us that many more people in the town believed due to Jesus’ words. Jesus spoke about living water to this Samaritan woman and then stayed in her town two extra days in order to continue teaching those in the town. He followed up. May we follow up with those we share Christ’s love with.
Mark 10:45 says, “even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” Jesus came to earth to serve us and to give His life for us. This is no easy task. He denied earthly pleasures and comforts in order to serve us and eventually give His life for us. In John 13:1–20, as His death was quickly approaching, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. John 13:1 says that Jesus loved His own to the end. Even in the difficult moments before Jesus’ death, He stayed faithful and served His disciples. He gave them a tangible example of how to serve others (John 13:15). May we humble ourselves and serve others as Christ has served us.
At times, it is difficult to faithfully make disciples. We get tired, we hit a roadblock, we question our impact, and so on. May we look to Jesus as our model of faithfulness. Even when things were difficult, took more time, and required humility and grace, Jesus served His people, offered patience, followed up with them, and watched over them.
In what ways can you learn from Jesus’ patience, oversight, follow-up, and service?
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