Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
Jesus is our way to discipleship. He is the path that leads to the Father. Jesus is our best example, since He modeled the way of discipleship. Instead of making discipleship into a formula or people into projects, we will look at the way Jesus did things and allow His example to lead us. For the next two days, we will look at how Jesus initiated with His disciples and those around Him.
Jesus came to earth with a purpose—to redeem mankind. All His thoughts and actions were in line with this purpose. He was intentional with others and initiated in a way that would accomplish His purpose of redemption, not only while He was on earth but for future generations as well. As Christ-followers, our purpose is to bring His redemptive power to those around us. This purpose is why we initiate with others.
We know discipleship is about relationships because Jesus formed close relationships with his disciples. Luke 6:12–16 says, In these days he went out to the mountain to pray, and all night he continued in prayer to God. And when day came, he called his disciples and chose from them twelve, whom he named apostles: Simon, whom he named Peter, and Andrew his brother, and James and John, and Philip, and Bartholomew, and Matthew, and Thomas, and James the son of Alphaeus, and Simon who was called the Zealot, and Judas the son of James, and Judas Iscariot, who became a traitor.
Jesus asked these twelve men to follow Him wherever He went. He initiated with these men by deeply investing in them. He taught, loved, and served them.
The majority of Jesus’ efforts were directed toward the twelve disciples. He chose a small group of men to initiate with daily. Jesus knew that these men would be the leaders of the church and take the gospel to the world. By consistently investing in a smaller group of men, Jesus was an extremely effective mentor and teacher. Through this concentrated effort, Jesus truly changed His disciples; from this change, the gospel spread to all nations.
Jesus initiated with His disciples by asking them to follow Him (Matthew 4:19). We can initiate with others by inviting them into our lives. Let people in. Allow them into your families, friendships, homes, activities, hobbies, and life. This can be difficult because it is vulnerable. But God’s grace and mercy meet us in those vulnerable places. By inviting others into our lives, we have a tremendous opportunity to show them Christ.