Summary: We need vital lifegiving relationships in order to win against Satan’s schemes.
Prepare for Immortal Combat
Matthew 10:1-16; 24-25
Introduction: We hear a great deal of video games and TV shows talking about mortal combat, and this simply refers to a fight to the death. This is supposed to be the apex of all battles, but this morning I want to remind you that immortal combat is the truly the ultimate warfare. Jesus said, "Do not fear those who can kill the body, but fear him who can both body and soul into hell." The spiritual battle for your soul is of far greater importance than mortal combat, in which you can only lose your life. Last week I shared how that we need mentors if we are going to succeed in life, but this is doubly true for spiritual success. This is because there is a satanic kingdom that will war against you all the way to heaven in order to get you to turn back. About a year ago I heard that Deion Sanders, the sensational defensive back for the Dallas Cowboys, had gotten saved. Then I saw him do an interview with ESPN about a month ago, and I saw a big difference in him and I know someone had mentored or discipled him. I bought his autobiography, Power, Money, & Sex: How Success almost ruined my life, just to discover who had mentored Deion. In the book he refers to Bishop T.D. Jakes as my spiritual father, my daddy in Christ. Three chapters in the book are devoted to the things Bishop Jakes taught him about power, money, and sex. Deion says, "You may think it strange to include this in my autobiography, but this is why I wrote the book in the first place because these teachings changed my life forever. They set me on the road to meet my Lord, and that’s why I want to share them with you maybe they’ll change your life too." Deion has got a hold of Jesus’ method of making disciples. Jesus taught them so that they could teach others. Let’s look more closely at Jesus mentoring or discipling approach. I am using the words mentoring and discipling interchangeably.
"He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness ....Those twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: "Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel. As you go, preach this message: `The Kingdom of heaven in near.’ Heal the sick, raise the dead, cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, free give..... I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves... A student is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the student to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master .... (Matthew 10:1, 5-8, 16, 24-25)
This brief passage gives us a glimpse of Jesus mentoring in action. I want to examine it more broadly at this time, and use this as the foundation. We can see the three dynamics of mentoring in Jesus relationship with his disciples.
I The Three Dynamics for Mentoring
The three dynamics for mentoring are attraction, responsiveness, and accountability.
a. Attraction- The first dynamic is attraction. For a mentoring relationship to be successful there must be an attraction that goes both ways. Unless there is an admiration or respect by the mentoree for the mentor there can be no influence. We can only influence people who look up to us in some way. Jesus chose his disciples and invited them to leave their jobs and follow him indefinitely. The fact they did as he asks them shows the tremendous attraction they had for Jesus. They could have left him at any time, but they followed him till the cross. Jesus also liked them and enjoyed being around them This is evident by the fact that he spent the next three-and-one-half years with them. He didn’t just see them in a class for an hour a day, but he ate, slept, and traveled with them twenty four hours a day. You cannot spend that much time with people unless there is some attraction. The second dynamic seen in Jesus’ ministry is responsiveness.
b. Responsveness- This simply means there is a willingness to be discipled or mentored. Unless the mentoree wants to be mentored all your efforts are in vain. Have you ever tried to teach your children something they didn’t want to learn? It isn’t very successful, is it? As Parents we have the advantage of control in their lives if they don’t want to listen, but if you are teaching someone who isn’t your child you don’t have that advantage. There has to be a desire to learn if the mentoring relationship is going to be successful. This ties into the first dynamic, in that, you not only have to have a desire to be taught, but also have a desire to be taught by the person trying to teach. The word disciple means to be a learner. As believers we must be life long learners, because that is what a disciple is to do. Jesus was successful because the men he chose had a great desire to be taught by him They were teachable, and they should be our models of a true discipleship. The third dynamic of mentoring that Jesus shows us is accountability.