6-Week Series: Against All Odds


Summary: When we consider the subject of discipleship we are prone to think, "I am like the disciples and need someone to help me be like Jesus" However, we need to think, "Jesus wants me to be like him and help others to be more like him"

Sermon Notes January 25, 2015 FBCam

Jesus Christ: Disciple-Maker

Today we begin a series titled “Jesus Christ: Disciple-Maker.” This title is taken from a book on discipleship written by Bill Hull. The sermons in this series are:

How Jesus Made Disciples (Today’s sermon)

What is a Disciple?

How Can I Make Disciples?

How Can the Church Make Disciples?

The Components of a Disciple-Making Small Group

What do you think of when we talk about discipleship?

There are three figures that we consider.


We are prone to think, “I am like the disciples and need someone to help me be like Jesus”

However, we need to think, “Jesus wants me to be like him and help others to be more like him”

PETER reminds us “For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.” (1 Peter 2:21, ESV)

PAUL reminds us “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” (1 Corinthians 11:1, ESV)

JOHN reminds us “By this is love perfected with us, so that we may have confidence for the day of judgment, because as he is - so also are we in this world.” (1 John 4:17, ESV)

JESUS “For I have given you an example, that you also should do just as I have done to you.” (John 13:15, ESV)

JESUS “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11:29, ESV)

So instead of thinking of ourselves of the disciples looking for a “Jesus” in our lives to disciple us, we ought also to think of ourselves as Jesus, looking for others who will also become disciples.

This concept is exactly what Jesus meant when he gave his disciples (and us) the Great Commission:

“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, ESV)

What did the disciples think Jesus meant when he said, “Go and make disciples?”

When he spoke this command, Jesus had just spent 3 ½ years with them! Their only filter to which interpret his command was the extended example that he provided through his relationship with them. This is how they understood his command to “make disciples.” Basically, Jesus was telling them to go out and to do for others the very same thing that he had done for them.

If we want to understand how to make disciples, we must examine the EXAMPLE of Jesus in the way that he made disciples!

One way to do this is to START at the BEGINNING and look at Christ’s relationship with his disciples chronologically.

This was foundation of a monumental work on the discipleship methods of Jesus written in the 1800's by A.B. Bruce in “The Training of the Twelve”

I decided to look at the things that way that Christ taught his disciples.

I followed A.T. Robertson’s “Harmony of the Gospels”

I discovered 41 separate events where Jesus taught his disciples or where they observed his earthly ministry.

Within those 41 events, I discovered 25 principles of discipleship that we apply to the way that we make disciples. I’ve put an asterisk next to the ones that are most significant for disciple making today.

1. *Disciples are identified by looking for those who are searching for spiritual truth (John 1:35-51). This take place at Bethany by the Jordan. The first statement that Jesus speaks to his disciples is a question ("what do you want?" John 1:38). The first command that Jesus gives them is "follow me."

2. Teachers should use questions to engage and stimulate their disciples (John 1:35-51).

3. *Discipleship requires extensive periods of time in natural (familiar and/or outdoor) surroundings (John 3:22-26). Jesus "stayed few days" with his mother, brothers and disciples in Capernaum following the miracle at Cana

4. *Times of great intensity should be followed by times for rest and reflection. New concepts must be allowed to take hold in the life of the disciple before other key ideas are introduced (John 3:22-26, see also Matt. 16:13-20). This occurred after an INTENSE ministry in Jerusalem. This was the first Passover where Jesus turned over the tables or the money changers. It was also after the wedding in Cana. People were clamoring to see Jesus. This was quite a system shock for these humble fishermen from Galilee. They needed time to process what they had seen, and Jesus provided that time.

5. Discipleship requires that the teacher spend lengthy periods of time with his or her disciples (John 3:22-26).

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