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Jesus—the True Disciple Maker

Greg and Susan Williams
Greg and Susan Williams

Dear GCI Family and Friends,

As we find ourselves in the season where we rehearse the earthly life and ministry of Jesus, it turns my mind toward the way Jesus equipped and developed the disciples. He used a dynamic combination of teaching and modeling to pour into their lives, and all the while wrapped into a relationship of interaction and friendship.

Jesus did not allow ministry to be a spectator sport. He used everyday opportunities to train his disciples to see and serve (“see” because people have value and worth). The feeding of the 5,000 is a marvelous narrative of how Jesus equipped his followers.

In John chapter 5, Jesus spent a lengthy session of teaching about his authority and how he is doing the work of the Father. These works testify to who he is, the Messiah. Then we read in chapter 6:

Sometime after this, Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee (that is, the Sea of Tiberias), and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the signs he had performed by healing the sick. Then Jesus went up on a mountainside and sat down with his disciples. The Jewish Passover Festival was near.

When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him, for he already had in mind what he was going to do.

Philip answered him, “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!”

Another of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, spoke up, “Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?”

Jesus said, “Have the people sit down.” There was plenty of grass in that place, and they sat down (about five thousand men were there). Jesus then took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish.

When they had all had enough to eat, he said to his disciples, “Gather the pieces that are left over. Let nothing be wasted.” So they gathered them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces of the five barley loaves left over by those who had eaten.

After the people saw the sign Jesus performed, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself. John 6:1-15 NIV

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6 thoughts on “Jesus—the True Disciple Maker”

  1. “Philip recognized they did NOT have sufficient funds in their ministry budget, but then…” a wonderful article – however a word was left out that should be added! thanks, Mike Read

  2. Thanks! The commentary gives valuable insights into His disciples and our response to Jesus’ leadership! All hands on deck!

  3. Notice that Jesus saw a need, and he had compassion. We are his hands and feet now and the greatest evangelism we can do in this world is to love people, to show them that Jesus is here and his love is real. If the Holy Spirit shows you a need, chances are you have what it takes to fill it.

  4. Thanks Greg, we need to expect the impossible even in the physical world we live in, nothing is impossible with God.

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