Title: An Introduction to Discipleship
Teacher: Jacob Bender
Key Verses: Matthew 28:18-20, Luke 6:40, Luke 9:57-62, Luke 9:23
The last thing that Jesus said to his disciples before his ascension was:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:19-20.
And as overwhelmed as I feel like I would have been, had I been there, and suddenly realized that I was being entrusted with taking the steps to carry on the legacy of Jesus, who had just changed the world… I often overlook the fact that Jesus had spent the last three years teaching his disciples how to do this. Showing them what it tangibly looks like. Training them. He gave them a commission that he fully believed that they were capable of carrying out!
In the first century, students who would want to become the disciple of a Rabbi would have to go through a grueling process. Even after memorizing word for word all of the Hebrew scriptures (the Old Testament), many would still be sent home to learn the family business after applying to study under a Rabbi, if that Rabbi did not think that they could do what the Rabbi did. The Rabbi’s, they looked for the best of the best, the ones that the Rabbi believed had what to takes to actually be LIKE them… and everyone else would be sent home.
But then comes Jesus, and he starts building his ministry with a bunch of outcast and misfit disciples… 12 guys who didn’t make the cut. 12 guys who had already stepped into the family business and other marketplace jobs because they realized that the reality of actually becoming the disciple of a Rabbi was virtually non-existent…
And so Rabbi Jesus looks at these guys, and he says “Come, Follow Me!” Essentially saying “I believe that you have what it takes to do what I do…” and his band of misfits are the ones who went on to change the world. Who went on to have a greater impact than any other Rabbi’s best disciples…
Because Jesus was never looking for the best.
Jesus was looking for followers who were all in.