Over the next two days, we will discuss how Jesus views results and how He prepared His disciples to take the gospel into the world, which resulted in making disciples of Christ.
The world views results in numbers; big numbers equal big results. As followers of Christ, we can’t solely focus on numbers because we might miss the depth of relationship that discipleship requires. Instead of only focusing on increasing church membership, may we focus on investing deeply into those who have wholeheartedly committed their lives to Christ. Think about Jesus. He started with a few— twelve to be exact. And He invested deeply in these twelve for three years. The world wants results now, but discipleship takes time, just as Jesus consistently invested into twelve men over a three-year span.
The Kingdom of God
In Mark 4:31–32, Jesus compared the Kingdom of God to a mustard seed: “It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”
Even though the kingdom of God started small, it grows into something so big! Jesus started the church with only eleven men. And through those eleven men, Jesus has sent His gospel into world!
If we were to measure the effectiveness of Jesus’ ministry by numbers alone, it might seem that He was ineffective. First Corinthians 15:6 says that Jesus appeared to around five hundred people after His resurrection. Acts 1:15 says that there were about 120 people present when the Holy Spirit first fell upon the believers. Despite the small beginnings of Christ’s church, it has grown into something massive— and it continues to grow.
As we make disciples, we can’t get so caught up in seeing results that we forget our purpose. Jesus reminded the disciples of their purpose before He sent them out to do His work: “He sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal” (Luke 9:2).
Pray With Us
Oh, God, help us to not be so focused on results that we forget our purpose in discipleship—proclaiming the kingdom of God.
As we make disciples, we must remember that we can’t force results. We can’t make someone believe that Jesus is the Savior. With this in mind, it is important that we invest wisely and remember Jesus’ words as He sent the twelve disciples out to proclaim the kingdom of God: “Whatever town or village you enter, find out who is worthy in it and stay there until you depart” (Matthew 10:11). Jesus instructed them to invest in people who would listen and continue His work after the disciples left. Following this instruction, Jesus also told His disciples to leave if no one would listen to their words (Matthew 10:14).