Theme of the Week: Following Jesus
Bible Verse: “Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’” Matthew 28:18-20
Scripture Reading: Matthew 4:12-25
Followers of Jesus invite other people to become followers of Jesus. Disciples make disciples.
Andrew was one of the first people to follow Jesus. “The first thing Andrew did was to find his brother Simon and tell him, ‘We have found the Messiah’ (that is, the Christ). And he brought him to Jesus.” (John 1:41-42). That is what followers of Jesus do. We bring our family and friends to Jesus, hoping that they also will become followers of Jesus.
Jesus called it fishing for people. One day Jesus saw Andrew and Simon in their fishing boat. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people” (Matthew 4:19). Matthew tells us that as Jesus was preparing to return to heaven, he said to his followers: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:18-20).
So, if a disciple is called by Jesus to make other disciples, then every disciple should actually be a discipler! By definition, a follower of Jesus is to be a reproducing follower of Jesus.
But, you might say, how can I do that? The most important thing you can do is live as a follower of Jesus. Secondly, bless those around you. Thirdly, while you are living like Jesus and blessing others, then invite people to follow Jesus one step at a time.
To be honest, I don’t really like the question: “Who are you discipling?” Often when people ask that question, they are asking “Who is the specific person that you have a special relationship with that you call a ‘discipling relationship’”? The expectation is that you meet one on one with someone and go through a specific Bible study to help them grow as a Christian. Often the model for that kind of a relationship is Paul and Timothy. However, I think that the Paul –Timothy relationship was more a leadership mentoring type of relationship than it was a discipling relationship. Mentoring relationships are great, and mature Christians should invest their lives into others who have leadership potential.
But I would rather ask you the question: “Who are you not discipling?” You see, every relationship that you have is a potential discipling relationship. If you just look for a Timothy, you might miss out on other important opportunities to help others become reproducing followers of Jesus. As you think about the people you already relate to, you can ask: “Where is this person on their journey, and what is the next step that I can invite them to take?” In other words, you can, like Philip did to Nathanael, invite them to “Come and see.”
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