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Prince of Peace: From the Cradle to the Crown and Beyond
Jesus' Mentoring of the Disciples
When our family moved from Montreal, Canada to the Upstate of South Carolina, we knew that God had opened the doors that led us here. Yet, I had unresolved issues and many questions about God. Furthermore, I didn't know anyone, experienced homesickness, and the transitions very difficult. Then God opened the doors for something I didn't even know that I needed: mentorship. It was a gift to have a couple of mentors at our new church, and I gained more spiritual counsellors willing to freely invest their time in me when I completed my undergraduate degree at Southern Wesleyan University.
How does mentorship work? Mentoring is based on a relationship between individuals-- with someone who is wiser and more experienced providing feedback, suggestions, and guidance to someone less knowledgeable who desires to learn and grow. We can diagram relationships as a series of circles, with the extreme outer circle being where strangers are located, followed by acquaintances in the next one. The next circle is for close friends, with the succeeding circle representing our intimate relationships and the final, innermost circle is for self. The closer the relationship (e.g., close friends and intimate relationships), the greater the opportunity for influential change.
This image of relationships and boundaries also applies to Jesus. In His extreme outer circle were the crowds that flocked to Him everywhere He went. He spent time teaching and healing these folks. Next came His circle of acquaintances, which included the Pharisees, the 72 disciples that He sent out to preach in surrounding cities and villages (Lk. 10: 1-23). The group of Jesus' closest friends included His 12 disciples, and the women who travelled with the group. Finally, there were the 3 disciples in the inner circle/the intimate circle: Peter, James, & John, and of those 3, John, who claimed He was 'the disciple that Jesus loved' (e.g. , Jn. 13: 23; 20: 2;
21:7; and 21:20). Thus, Jesus was in the best position to mentor those who had close relationship with Him. And it was to these individuals that He explained at a deeper level the truths that He taught the crowds.
Jesus said to go to all the world and make disciples, not general followers. To do this, we need to follow Jesus' example and develop relationships so that we can mentor new-coverts, as well as others who may need mentoring to grow in their relationship with Jesus Christ.
Blessings & Peace
Elizabeth Hogan Hayduk
Former Salvation Army Officer