After attending my Tuesday morning prayer and devotional meeting, I joined some Timberline seniors for breakfast. We had a new visitor by the name of “Speck.” Named for his eye glasses. I asked him how old he was when he got glasses, and the nickname. He was eight. The same age as my newly eye-glass wearing grandson. Speck is now 95 and in good health with good eye sight! I then traveled to Denver to visit my mother. This evening I will attend a presentation at Colorado School of Mines.
BIBLE VERSE FOR TODAY… “Summoning the Twelve, He gave them power and authority over all the demons, and power to heal diseases. Then He sent them to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal the sick…When the apostles returned, they reported to Jesus all that they had done. “ Luke 9:1,10 HCSB
When Jesus called His disciples He did so, “…that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach.” (Mark 3:14 ESV) Jesus knew that His life and ministry would one day be entrusted to those He call to follow Him. The preparation for the future ministry of the disciples was not only being with Jesus, hearing His words, seeing the miracles, but experiencing what it was like for God to us them in preaching and healing.
There is a process in training or mentoring that goes something like this, “I do, you watch.” “You do, I watch.” “You do.” Jesus didn’t live in isolation and then one day suddenly call men that He sent out. There was a preparation time. There was an opportunity for them to observe Jesus, to ask questions, to see “how He did it.” Jesus then sent them out so that He could provide the support that was needed. This allows confidence to be built and to “learn by doing.”
Mark records of the twelve’s missions, “They went out and preached that people should repent. They drove out many demons and anointed many sick people with oil and healed them.” (Mark 6:12,13 NIV) The disciples did what Jesus had done. They preached repentance, drove out demons that healed the sick. Yet after they returned, we see later, Jesus coming down from the Mount of Transfiguration finding the disciples with a demon possessed by that they were unsuccessful in freeing from the demon. This was not so much a failure, as a learning opportunity.
As Jesus was preparing for the cross, His work of preparing and equipping the disciples moved into high gear. “…I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Counselor to be with you forever. He is the Spirit of truth. The world is unable to receive Him because it doesn’t see Him or know Him. But you do know Him, because He remains with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans…” (John 14:16-18 HCSB)
At the ascension Jesus spoke His final words of instruction, “He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for the Father’s promise. “This,” He said, “is what you heard from Me…you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now….you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come on you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (Acts 1:4,5,8 HCSB)
Jesus showed the way before modern day leadership theorists discovered the “art of successful training.” He allow the disciple to see Him in action, He provided support as they stepped out in ministry and then He sent them out.
“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 everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20 HCSB)
As we continue to train and prepare for ministry or work with others in developing any skill or competence this model is a good one to follow. After all, it comes from Jesus Himself.