Many years ago I realized a couple things about experts. They are often self-appointed, and too often their expertise is knowledge-based rather than experiential. Oh yeah, they can be wrong. Sometimes more wrong than they're right.
For example, take the experts in the Law in Jesus' time. They were way wrong, but would never admit it. (Mark 2:16-17 GW)
I believe we've been held captive by the opinion of experts far too long. (Click to Tweet) The earth is not flat. Draining someone's blood doesn't get rid of disease. Humans can travel faster than the speed of sound, and run a mile under four minutes.
Experts and Jesus
The experts of Jesus' time, people who should know better than anyone, missed what they were looking for—the Messiah. Why? For one thing, they didn't like who He had as His followers.
My definition of arrogance is the resulting combination of pride and ignorance. (Click to Tweet) Sadly, my experience with (so-called) experts has born this out, too often. BTW, I'm no expert.
I can only guess why you would want an expert opinion. My expectation is that an expert will deliver an authoritative and true opinion. But alas, opinions are opinions, regardless of who gives them.
Jesus had real authority and He spoke truth, not opinion. His view of discipleship was simple and practical. (Click to Tweet)
A considerable amount of books, pamphlets, and messages on discipleship have been generated over the years. All try to capture the essence, purpose, and value of discipleship.
One book I can recommend is The Master Plan of Evangelism, by Robert Coleman. It is a classic and well worth the read. But one of the simplest views of Jesus' model of discipleship can be found in Paul's epistle, 2 Timothy in Chapter 2.
Here is where I find the essence of discipleship. Not so much a "how-to" plan, but a process. Discipleship is an ongoing process. It may have a beginning, but it's only end is when we see Jesus face to face. (1 Cor 13:12) (Click to Tweet)
Where do we start?
The foundation for all true discipleship is God's grace. His kindness poured out for all humanity through Jesus. (Click to Tweet)
My child, find your source of strength in the kindness [grace] of Christ Jesus. (2 Tim 2:1 GW)
How does the process of discipleship begin?
First, we need to become a disciple and follower of Jesus. We need to be faithful and consistent in our own relationship with Jesus, and our relationships with others. (Click to Tweet) Then we are to pass onto other followers of Jesus what the Lord has worked into our lives.
You’ve heard my message, and it’s been confirmed by many witnesses. Entrust this message to faithful individuals who will be competent to teach others. (2 Tim 2:2 GW)
What is the primary message?
Always think about Jesus Christ. He was brought back to life and is a descendant of David. This is the Good News that I tell others. (2 Tim 2:8 GW)
How can we be ready?
How can you and I be ready at all times and anywhere to share the gospel in our own words? And how can we share what the Lord has worked into our own lives? We need to know the truth of God's Word ourselves. How can we share with others what we don't have a firm grasp of ourselves? (Click to Tweet)
Do your best to present yourself to God as a tried-and-true worker who isn’t ashamed to teach the word of truth correctly. (2 Tim 2:15 GW)
Two essential elements
What are two essential elements of true discipleship? It needs to be both relational and intentional. (Click to Tweet) It begins with our own personal relationship with Jesus, and continues through personal relationships with others.
It requires commitment on our part. We need to be intentional and faithful in discipling others, even when the results aren't encouraging (see Matt 15:15-16 NIV). (Click to Tweet)
How? That brings us back to the beginning—being strong in God's grace (2 Tim 2:1).
Discipleship is an ongoing process, not a task to accomplish, but an intentional, continuing relationship with Jesus and others. (Click to Tweet)