Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (Matt. 28:20)
In the previous post we talked about how Jesus chose His disciples. In this post, we will discuss in how Jesus associated Himself with His disciples. I hope and pray that the previous post and this post will serve you well. God bless you and enjoy!
He Stayed With Them
Having called His men, Jesus made a practice of being with them. This was the essence of His training program---just letting His disciples follow Him.
When one stops to think of it, this was an incredibly simple way of doing it. Jesus had no formal school, no seminaries, no outlined course of study, no periodic membership classes in which He controlled His followers. None of these highly organized procedures considered so necessary today entered into His ministry. Amazing as it may seem, all Jesus did to teach these men His way was to draw them close to Himself. He was His own school and curriculum.
The natural informality of this teaching method of Jesus stood in striking contrast to the formal, almost scholastic procedures of the scribes. These religious teachers insisted on their disciples adhering strictly to certain rituals and formulas of knowledge which distinguished them from others; whereas Jesus asked only that His disciples follow Him. Knowledge was not communicated by the Master in terms of laws and dogmas, but in the living personality of One who walked among them. His disciples were distinguished, not by outward conformity to certain rituals, but by being with Him, and thereby participating in His doctrine (John 18:19).
Still Ministering to the Masses
One must not overlook that even while Jesus was ministering to others, the disciples were always there with Him. Whether He addressed the multitudes that pressed on Him, conversed with the scribes and Pharisees which sought to ensnare Him, or spoke to some lonely beggar along the road, the disciples were close at hand to observe and to listen. In this manner, Jesus' time was paying double dividends. Without neglecting His regular ministry to those in need, He maintained a constant ministry to His disciples by having them with Him. They were thus getting the benefit of everything He said and did to others plus their own personal explanation and counsel.
I cannot help but be incredibly fascinated in how Jesus was able to win the trust of His disciples without them ever really knowing Him in the beginning and without drawing any misconceived conclusions about Jesus, His divine nature, and His motives for not only choosing them, but also taking the time to associate Himself with them and vice versa.
So friend, what are your thoughts on Jesus and His ability to be able to associate Himself so naturally with His disciples without all the preparation that goes with evangelistic ministry these days?
Thanks for reading this far my friends! My hope and prayer is that we will make a great effort in associating ourselves with those that God brings into our lives for the sake of the Gospel because in all likelihood, we may be the only "Jesus" and "Bible" anyone may ever get to read. May God continue to bless you and keep you in Jesus' mighty name my friends! JESUS LOVES YOU AND SO DO I!!!...:-).