“One day as Jesus was walking along the shore of the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers – Simon, also called Peter, and Andrew – throwing a net into the water, for they fished for a living. Jesus called out to them, “Come, follow me, and I will show you how to fish for people!” And they left their nets at once and followed him.”
Often when people read these verses they are captured by the thought that they left their nets immediately when Jesus called them. And that is no small thing indeed. However I am captured that Jesus said he would show them how to fish for people.
Jesus tells us his primary purpose in calling these men, “I will show you how to fish for people.” They would not just be companions or road trip buddies, he desired to teach them something – He would be their discipler.
He taught them how to fish for men, but just as any good discipler would, he taught and modeled for them many other crucial lessons like how to pray, who the Holy Spirit is, what to do after he left and God’s love, to name a few.
In the same way that Jesus called his disciples 2,000 years ago and made his primary objective clear, we need to make our objective clear when we begin to disciple another person.
We engage personally in discipleship when initiating relationships for the purpose of helping others look more like Christ. Instead of being a one-time event like salvation, discipleship is an ongoing process, a journey through which we transfer what we have gained in our relationship with Christ up to this point to another person.
“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 end of the age.”
This verse emphasizes that disciple-making is not merely a good suggestion, not just something to do when we have accomplished all our other goals in life. We are, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to tell others the good news of Jesus Christ and to make disciples. Whatever we’ve learned up to this point about God and His Word, we are to teach to others.
Individual Bible study and prayer have their place in spiritual growth. However, learning through a community can lead to deeper, more widespread life change.
How do you have a difficult conversation with others? Watch this talk from author and speaker Timothy Muehlhoff of Biola University.
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