Iron Sharpens Iron: Life-to-Life® Mentoring in the New Testament


Day 1: Jesus and the Twelve, the Three, the One (Peter)

Jesus is our example for life and ministry. He gave us the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) and modeled what it looks like to “make disciples who make disciples.”

Think of it! Jesus had the gospel’s spread in mind during His days on earth. He put it this way: “And this gospel of the kingdom will be proclaimed throughout the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14 ESV). 

Jesus started with a focused commitment to a dozen disciples. Through them the gospel of the kingdom would spread. So, how did He launch this disciple making movement?

Jesus began with prayer. In fact, He prayed through the night before selecting the Twelve! So we, too, must look to the Lord to help us discern whom to walk alongside. It’s said that Jesus found FAT people: Faithful, Available, Teachable. That’s not a bad acronym to guide our prayer!  

Jesus “did life” with His disciples. Read each of the Gospels and you will see this unfold. He even washed His disciples’ dirty feet! Even though Jesus knew that Judas would betray Him, He still gave his feet a cleansing. Jesus’ love is unconditional. 

Jesus used Life-to-Life encounters with His disciples as teaching moments, such as when He taught about the gospel’s advance in the Parable of the Sower and the Seed (Matthew 13:1–9, 18–23). He also came alongside the three, Peter, James, and John, in times such as at the Transfiguration (Matthew 17:1-11). And He came alongside Peter when he needed personal restoration after denying Jesus (John 21:15-17). 

Of course, much more could be said about Jesus’ intentional disciple making ministry. For now, key takeaways include that Jesus was prayerful, intentional, purposeful, and relational as He did Life-to-Life discipleship with the Twelve.