So many people wonder how they can make their lives meaningful by accomplishing something great. Jesus never left any doubt that His greatest accomplishment was in the producing of disciples who would help plant and grow His church. The Lord could have spent His entire ministry doing evangelism, but He chose twelve that they might be with Him and that He could send them out to preach. (Mark 3:14)
1. Jesus never allowed Himself to be distracted from His priority of making disciples of all nations. While most Christian groups are looking for better methods, God is still looking for quality people to do His will
2. Jesus believed in the power of each individual to make a great contribution for eternity. When Jesus looked at every person He saw in them the potential to impact other lives for all eternity. Do not underestimate, overlook or disregard anyone for any reason – God created them for His purposes.
3. Jesus did not criticize His disciples until He knew that they were committed to Him. So many people make the mistake of correcting people who are yet to establish a trusting relationship.
4. Jesus did not turn away disciples because of off-handed criticisms. Our Lord learned how to not take things personally. The Good Shepherd was a Master at objectively looking at life so as to not be swayed by one’s subjective emotions, judgments or prejudices.
5. Jesus did not allow His mind to be overwhelmed by the slowness of His disciples to learn. Jesus Christ practiced great patience, forbearance and understanding with His disciples to the end.
6. Jesus controlled the human tendency to become angry, frustrated and disillusioned with His disciples. Remember that even Judas Iscariot, who showed signs of unreliability, remained in Christ’s class.
7. Jesus allowed for periods of rest, recuperation and recovery for disciples to got off the track. Occasionally, corrections and rebukes will have to be leveled to disciples. Time and patience will heal many wounds. Do not expect that everything will be sweetness and crème all the time in relationships.
8. Jesus did not talk to the other disciples about anyone’s mistakes. Avoid the temptations to ask people’s advice about another person’s problems. Gossip and back-biting are very destructive.
9. Jesus used words of comfort, inspiration, illumination, instruction, persuasion and blessing in balance. Many teachers tend to put so much emphasis on one or two areas that they unconsciously neglect others.
10. Jesus helped the disciples rely on God for their wisdom, knowledge and direction. Our Lord knew that the disciples could overcome any problem if they allowed the Lord to assume the controls of their lives.
11. Jesus taught the disciples, "It is not what is on the outside of a person that defiles him, but the evil desires that come out of one’s heart and mind." Jesus helped the disciples learn to first conquer to their own lusts.
12. Jesus showed the disciples how yesterday’s failures can be catalysts for tomorrow’s triumphs. Jesus helped the disciples learn from their mistakes and gain valuable lessons to prevent future ones.