For the next two days, we will explore the ways Jesus practically lived out discipleship. While Jesus was on earth, He didn’t necessarily start a Bible study or any other formal activity. Instead His life and teachings started a new way of thinking and a church to take the gospel to all nations. In His famous Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5–7), Jesus repeatedly said, “You have heard that it was said . . . But I say to you.” Jesus started a new way of living by making things about the heart instead of the external. Then Jesus used His disciples to start the church (Matthew 16:18). Jesus is the head of the church (Colossians 1:18) but He used His disciples to start the church by making disciples of all nations. Practically, what does this look life for us?
A New Way
Jesus - Our Example
In John 13:15 Jesus said, “For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.” Jesus is our example—our model. While Jesus was on earth, He showed us how to practically make disciples by the way He loved, served, and cared for others. He spoke truth with authority and grace. He spent time with those whom society considered outsiders. He met people where they were, even in their sin. Jesus’ life reveals to us a practical approach to discipleship. If we follow in the footsteps of Jesus, we will have great impact on those around us.
Jesus and People
In order to start discipling, we should first look at how Jesus interacted with people. First, Jesus was present with His disciples (Coleman 1993). He was available. He was all there. When you are with your people, be present. Focus. Listen. Connect. Second, eat with people. Invite people into your home. Create conversation around the table. Jesus did a lot of His ministry around a table. In Matthew 9:10–13, Jesus was chastised by the Pharisees for eating with “tax collectors and sinners.” Jesus opened the table to all types of people. Eat with someone and learn about his or her life.
Third, walk alongside others through life. Jesus literally walked with His disciples from town to town sharing the good news, but He also figuratively walked alongside others as He taught them, healed them, and had compassion on them. Walk alongside someone: rejoice when they rejoice and mourn when they mourn (Romans 12:15). Fourth, serve others by humbling yourself and putting others interests before your own (Philippians 2:4). Empty yourself for others, as Christ did for us (Philippians 2:7). Jesus humbly served His disciples when He washed their feet. May we emulate the Savior’s way by folding someone’s laundry, making a meal, mowing a lawn, running an errand, and other small acts of service. Fifth, give your time to others. When we give our time to others, it shows them we prioritize and really care about the relationship because time is a precious commodity. Jesus spent three years of concentrated time with His disciples. During this time, He taught them about the kingdom of God and trained them to take the gospel to all the nations.
How can you begin to love and serve those around you?
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