To make disciples you must be willing to take the risk of being hurt by the very people you are discipling. To “play it safe” is incompatible with making disciples of Jesus because the most important aspect of disciple-making is teaching your disciple how to love and love requires risk. It is the most difficult part of disciple-making and the process can take years.
To illustrate this difficulty we need to look no further than to Jesus’s disciple Peter. Peter had experienced Jesus’s love firsthand for three years and had heard Jesus teach on love on different occasions and he knew that the mark of a follower of Jesus is love. On the night of Jesus’s death Peter had been explicitly warned about an upcoming love test for him but he would not believe that he, of all people, could ever desert the Lord. It was only after Peter’s very public failure in betraying Jesus that he learned the essence of love.
After Jesus’s resurrection we are allowed to listen in on a private conversation between Jesus and Peter because I believe of the significance of the topic in relation to making disciples. Jesus brings the conversation to crux of the matter by asking the question: “Peter do you love me?”
The behaviors and attitudes of your disciple’s life relate to his understanding of God’s love for him, his love for God, other’s love for him, and his love for others. The Holy Spirit custom builds circumstances in your disciple’s life to teach him the way of love. As Jesus guided the twelve in how to love the other disciples so a discipler must guide his disciples in how to love one another.
- Lessons of love for your disciple will probably be tied to his greatest failure.
- A discipler needs to keep love in the forefront of your disciple’s thinking just as Jesus did with his disciples.
- Your love relationship with your disciple plays an important role in his becoming a follower of Jesus.
- Your disciple’s relationship with other disciples gives you a measure of how well your disciple is following Jesus.