Luke 6:40 is an incredibly important verse that is often overlooked. Consider Jesus’ words, “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” I wonder how many times people missed the importance of this verse. Jesus is telling us that we CAN be fully trained disciples. Of course, fully trained doesn’t mean perfect (the apostles make that perfectly clear). This became a “wow moment” for me. As Jesus-followers, we are called to be fully trained and to “make disciples.” Jesus spent three years training twelve men to continue His mission of disciple-making. And “fully trained,” those people changed the world.
I recently led a group on a pilgrimage to the Holy Land. On this trip, God touched and changed lives, mine included! As we stood at a biblical site called Caesarea Philippi, God showed me a wonderful truth. Matthew 16:13 tells us that Jesus took the twelve to one of the northernmost places He’d ever ventured. AND… Caesarea Philippi was a hub for the worship of false gods. Jesus had taken His followers to the epicenter of enemy territory. Why?
Considering what took place that day, it’s obvious that Jesus had a plan. While in “enemy territory”, Jesus asked them, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” That was easy. The disciples shared the gossip. But then… Jesus got personal: “Who do you say that I am?” Sometimes I try to imagine the gravity of that moment. Jesus had not been so pointed in His questioning of His disciple before this. I believe they were all stunned. “What are we supposed to say now?”
Peter, by this time, had become the de facto spokesman for the apostles. Perhaps, after he caught his breath, Peter spoke up: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God!” Did the earth shake in that moment? Did the “high places” surrounding them quiver? I can only speculate. But what God showed me on that day in Israel was that this was, a sort of, exam for the disciples. “Were they now ready to take up the mission of Jesus to be and build disciples?” Peter’s answer was the right answer. They had learned! They had moved forward in the training Jesus had provided over the previous, almost, three years! Though they were not perfect, they had now proclaimed Jesus as Lord. They had been trained!
Peter’s answer for the group revealed that they now knew that Jesus was more than just a good teacher. He was, in fact, God in flesh who had come as a man to fulfill His two-fold mission. The first part of that mission only He would complete: make redemption available to all people. The second part of His mission was to make disciples who would make disciples and begin a movement that would change the world. When Peter spoke those words, Jesus was confident that these twelve followers were now ready to move to the final phase of their training: following Jesus wherever He led; to the point that their lives looked like His. Our Lord, now assured that these men had learned the truths He’d taught, was ready to go forward, completing His first mission… to make redemption available to all, and His disciples would indeed be ready to be and build disciples.
Just after the account of the events at Caesarea Philippi, the very next verse (Matthew 16:21) reads, “From that time Jesus began to show his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and on the third day be raised.” The disciples had gone “all in.” Now they were ready to display the character and conduct of Christ, and to “be and build” disciples, and the world was forever changed.
When a Jesus-follower recognizes Jesus as Lord and has been fully trained, that person is now ready to be His disciple who makes disciples… who make disciples. And today, Jesus’ second mission continues through fully trained disciples who are becoming like their teacher in character and conduct. “A disciple is not above his teacher, but everyone when he is fully trained will be like his teacher.” The materials available at www.impactdisciples.com will help you to train others like Jesus trained His followers. Yes, Christ-followers can be fully trained!
I encourage you to seriously consider the Disciple Making Church and Disciple Making Pastor materials, available to all at impactdisciples.com/store.