Leadership "The Jesus Way" >>>

LESSON 3 of 4


"And there followed him great multitudes of people from Galilee, and from Decapolis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judaea, and from beyhond Jordan" (Matthew 4:25).

Jesus successful ministry of healing and deliverance created yet another problem. He made sheep out of them, but the sheep need shepherds, leaders who could continue to lead them in the right paths:

"But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad, as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest" (Matthew 9:35-38)

Jesus actually began to gather disciples unto Himself right after his miraculous ministry began, and the multitudes began to follow Him:

Luke 5:1-11 informs us of the calling of Peter, Andrew, James and John. Verses 27-28 tells of the calling of Matthew. The calling of Philip and Nathanael is found in John 2:43-49.

The Bible does not tell us when the rest of the twelve apostles became disciples, nor how. We do read that from the many disciples that followed Jesus, Jesus appointed twelve to receive special training and become His apostles.

This was not only a great honour, but also a great responsibility because the church of Jesus Christ was to be "built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone" (Ephesians 2:20).

"And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples; and of them he chose twelve . . ." (Luke 6:12-13).

"And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach. And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils" (Mark 3:14-15).

A person comes to Jesus Christ, and obeys His Holy Word, whenever he becomes a true believer. However, not all believers become disciples. A disciple is a person who seeks to learn more about Jesus and be faithful to His teachings. Jesus said, "Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls" (Matthew 11:29).

Some churches are full of believers, but have few disciples--people who are seeking to progressively become more like Jesus, and become useful in His kingdom. People who identify with earthly mission, and have a burden for the advancement of the kingdom of God on earth (the church of Jesus Christ).

Much of the teaching of Jesus Christ was to the multitudes, for example His teaching that we call "the Beatitudes" (Matthew, Chapters 6 - 8). However, from them He chose a select group of people to receive more than just "pulpit teaching and preaching." He chose them "that they should be with him."

There is no substitute for this kind of teaching. The twelve apostles spent much of their time together with Jesus. Jesus taught them concerning prayer, but He also prayed with them many times in the garden of Gethsemane--and whenever and wherever they were together.

Jesus preached, healed the sick, and cast out demons. But He also empowered and encouraged them to do the same (Luke 9:1-2).

Peter, James, and John were chosen from the twelve to enjoy a closer relationship with Jesus--and thus receive extra training that would be valuable to them in the leadership of the church. John refers to himself as "the disciple whom Jesus loved," four times in his book (John 13:23). No doubt all three of these men possessed a special love for Jesus--and were greatly loved in return (John 13:1). Jesus called these men apart from the rest of the twelve on several occasions:

1. Peter, James, and John were allowed to enter Jairus' house when Jesus raised his daughter from the dead (Luke 8:49-56).

2. He took them to a mountain to pray, and there they witnessed the transfiguration (Luke 9:28- 36).

3. At the time of the betrayal, He came to the garden of Gethsemane with all of his apostles, except Judas. After entering the garden, he dismissed eight of them by saying, "Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder." He brought His "Inner Circle" friends further into the garden, and before He began to pray, He revealed to them His true feelings:

"My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me" (Matthew 26:38).

By this act, Jesus let us know that, as the Son of God, He was human enough that He needed a few close friends that He could be open and honest with. Had He spoken those words to some of the other eight apostles, perhaps they would consider such honesty a weakness in Jesus' character.

Jesus also taught and trained seventy other disciples, and sent them out to preach, heal the sick, and cast out devils (Luke 10:1). He still recognized the need for more labourers, and encouraged them: "Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he would send forth labourers into the harvest" (verse 20).

"He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; . . . they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover" (Mark 16:16-17).


After more than three years of training apostles and disciples, Jesus paid the price for salvation and redemption by dying on the cross. Shortly before His death, He prayed,

"I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do" (John 17:4).

He had taught hundreds of disciples, and had carefully trained the twelve men that would become the foundation of His church.

After His resurrection, He spent His final ten days speaking to His apostles "of things pertaining to the kingdom of God" (Acts 1:3). This included what we call "the Great Commission":

"Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature" (Mark 16:15).

"Go ye therefore and make disciples of all nations . . ." (Matthew 28:19).

"But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8).

After just 3-1/2 years of ministry, Jesus ascended into heaven, confident that the church which would be born on the day of Pentecost would flourish under the men He had trained.

During those final ten days, the largest group He spoke to consisted of about five hundred disciples (I Corinthians 15:6). That He trained His leaders well is seen in the fact that one week later, about three thousand people were baptized in the name of Jesus Christ! ds


صيادي الناس