As we continue to learn how Jesus initiated with others, today we will discuss those He chose to be His disciples, how He interacted with the masses of people who followed Him, and how we can model Jesus’ ways.
Ways Jesus Initiated
While walking by the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon (who is called Peter) and Andrew his brother, casting a net into the sea, for they were fishermen.
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Follow the Leader
Who: The Disciples
By society’s standards, Jesus chose average men to be His disciples. Simon Peter and Andrew were fishermen, and Matthew was a tax collector (Matthew 4:18, 9:9). None of the disciples were priests, and none of them held high positions within the synagogues. Jesus came to earth to do the work of God, yet He did not choose any religious leaders to be in His inner circle. Instead, He chose men who wanted to follow Him—men with teachable hearts, who would take the gospel to all nations. Jesus can use anyone.
To follow Jesus’ model, we cannot let society’s view of people impact who we initiate and interact with. In the same way Jesus saw the best in His disciples, may God give us vision to see the best in others. Jesus saw who they could become, not who they currently were. May our desires be the same as God’s, who “desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth” (1 Timothy 2:4).
Who: The Masses
Even as Jesus daily invested in the lives of the disciples, He simultaneously cared for those other than the twelve disciples. Because Jesus’ life was so compelling, masses of people followed Him throughout His ministry. He loved these people by healing them (Matthew 8:1–4), eating with them (Mark 2:15), teaching them (Matthew 5:1–2), feeding them (Matthew 14:13–21), and casting out demons (Mark 1:34). Jesus’ actions show us that He truly cared for the masses of people who followed Him. His desire is for all to be redeemed.
The Application of Initiation
How can we initiate as Jesus did? Begin by initiating with people who are already in your life: the “inner circles.” People you see every day. Your family, friends, and coworkers. Be intentional by investing in these relationships. Look for ways to love and serve these people.
What about people you don’t see every day? Or people you cross paths with at the grocery store or coffee shop? In essence, the “masses”? Initiate with these people by acknowledging them, smiling at them, saying hello, making eye contact, and asking about their day. Basically, treat them with consideration and dignity because they are God’s creations. These actions demonstrate the love of Christ.
Tips on Initiating
When thinking about taking initiative, the best place to start is prayer. Ask God whom He wants you to move toward in your life. Ask Him to help you see those people the way He sees them. Praying for the people in our everyday lives is a great starting place because we seek God on their behalf, and God is the only one who changes hearts (Ezekiel 36:26–27).
Ask questions. It’s so simple, right? Ask people about their lives and truly listen to their answers. As we listen, we will learn about their lives and discover ways to love and serve them well. If you want to be discipled, ask someone you respect to engage in a discipleship relationship with you.
Be vulnerable. Share your story with people. When you initiate vulnerability, others will feel more comfortable in sharing personal things about their lives.
How can you reach out to those in your life?
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