Introduction: In the last two lessons we learned that everyone is
eligible to be a disciple. What do we need to learn next to prepare
to be disciples? To prepare to lead? Let’s dive into the Bible and
find out!

  1. The Chosen Twelve

    1. Read Mark 3:13-15. Can you imagine the scene in your
      mind? Put it in today’s terms. (“The Boss” calls your name
      and you come out of the crowd and walk into His office.
      He explains that He wants to promote you. This is exactly
      what you think you want, so you agree to be an apostle.)

      1. What is the job description for being an apostle? (1.
        Be with Jesus. 2. Be available to preach. 3. Have
        authority to drive out demons.)

        1. Let’s focus on this last aspect of the job for a
          minute. Do you have to be authorized to do this
          kind of work? (It is hard to read the text any
          other way.)

      2. What lesson do we learn for today from this account
        of choosing the twelve disciples? (Many were
        following Jesus, but He chose only a few to be in
        positions of authority.)

  2. Choosing You

    1. It was pretty “black and white” how the twelve were
      chosen. How are we chosen today by Jesus?

      1. A good place to start looking is Acts 1:21-26. Jesus
        has returned to heaven, and the early church is in
        the process of replacing Judas. Let’s read this
        account. What are the essential elements of the
        choice? (The church uses its wisdom. It looks for
        someone with the necessary experience. It chooses
        two men. It prays for divine guidance and casts lots
        – so that God will have the final say.)

      2. Should you be able to choose yourself for leadership?
        I recall one man who studied so that he could be the
        “Head Elder.” He was ready and waiting to be chosen
        by the church. When he was not, he dropped out of
        church. Clearly, the church made the right choice. We
        can (and should) all choose to be disciples of Jesus.
        But, leadership positions should not be “self-chosen.”)

    2. Read Romans 12:3-5. What does this teach us about our role
      in the church? (We all have something to do. But, we do
      not all have the same function. That is, we do not all
      have the same job.)

      1. Do we have any role in choosing our function? (We
        have a role in being realistic about our job. When
        the Bible says “think of yourself with sober
        judgment,” it means be realistic about what you are
        best fitted to do.)

      2. Aside from us being realistic, how are these
        functions determined? (Read Romans 12:6-8. The “grace
        given us” seems to refer to the blessings of God and
        the power of the Holy Spirit. Consider what gifts God
        has given to you. Where do you excel in His work?
        That is your place in the church.)

    3. Considering what we have studied so far, what is the first
      step in preparation for discipleship? (Figuring out your
      role in the work. Your role may change over time, but the
      essentials are the same: 1) Look for God’s leading. This
      can come through the gifts God has given you and the
      leadership opportunities presented by the church. 2) Be
      realistic about your gifts and talents.)

  3. The Job

    1. Read Matthew 10:1, 5-6. Are these instructions for us?
      (Yes and no. We know the limitation on mission is not an
      instruction for us because last week we learned that Peter
      and Cornelius were clearly led by God to come together so
      that gentiles would receive the gospel message. However,
      the underlying principle is that we should be focused in
      our mission.)

      1. What lesson should we learn from Jesus calling His
        disciples “to Him?” (Preparation for being a disciple
        requires that we draw close to Jesus. We do this by
        Bible study and prayer.)

      2. What lesson is there in being given specific
        authority to “drive out evil spirits and heal every
        disease and sickness?”

        1. Adam Clarke’s commentary says this: “He whose
          ministry is not accompanied with healing to
          diseased souls, was never called of God.” Do you
          agree? (I’m not sure whether Clarke means
          exorcisms or conversions. If a minister never
          converts anyone, that would be a problem. Going
          down the “authority list” in verse one, most
          ministers I know do not perform instantaneous,
          miraculous healing.)

        2. Read Ephesians 4:11-12. In this list “apostles”
          (which are the twelve in Matthew 10:1) are
          different than “evangelists” and “pastors.” What
          does this say about pastors having the same
          authority as apostles? What does it say about
          the necessity of them exorcizing and healing?

    2. Read Matthew 10:7-8. Which of these instructions do you
      think applies to our preparation for discipleship? (The
      message should be the same. If we are authorized to do the
      rest, we should.)

      1. What does it mean “freely you have received, freely
        give.” (If God has given you a gift. If He has
        authorized you with certain divine power, then use it
        freely to help others.)

    3. Read Matthew 10:9-10. What does this mean? Is poverty part
      of the preparation for discipleship? (Just the opposite.
      Notice that they are leaving their money, suitcase, extra
      suits, shoes and ties at home.)

      1. How does that make any sense? (Jesus says that those
        who benefit from hearing the gospel should provide
        those things for you!)

      2. What happened to “freely you received, freely give?”

      3. For at least the first five years of these lessons, I
        bankrolled all of the expenses myself. All of the
        translators volunteer their time and expenses. About
        five years ago my son started running Google ads on
        the web site with our lessons so that we could recoup
        our costs. Should I be getting the money from you
        instead of Google advertisers? (Not everyone followed
        this rule. Paul supported himself. Acts 20:34.)

    4. Read Matthew 10:11-13. Let’s start with verse 11. What
      lesson for discipleship do you learn in this verse? (Your
      base for mission depends in part on your work (“search”),
      the willingness of a local to help (“some worthy person”),
      and a continued partnership between the two of you (“stay
      at his house until you leave”). I would not leave the
      guidance of the Holy Spirit out of this, because Jesus,
      another of the Godhead, is the one giving the

      1. What lesson do you find in verse 12? (Be respectful
        and kind to the local family who is working with

      2. What lesson do you find in verses 13? (If they are
        helpful, bless them.)

    5. Read Matthew 10:14-16. What should you do if people do not
      listen to you? (Walk away.)

      1. Should this instruction about walking away guide our
        evangelistic work today? How about our work for
        former church members?

          1. If former members say “no,” should we
            never try again?

          2. Or, is this just an instruction for the
            twelve disciples who have a huge task and
            limited time?

      2. Why do you think Matthew 10:15 is true? Just
        refusing to listen is worse than being a
        rapist( Genesis 19:4-5)? How can that be? (Read
        Matthew 11:23-24. Barnes’ Notes suggests this has to
        do with the “light” available to you. Apparently Lot,
        God’s follower in Sodom, was not a very good
        evangelist. The Sodomites did not have a very good
        vision of God. On the other hand, the people being
        sent out in Matthew 10 are the twelve disciples! Who
        could better explain the gospel than one of them?
        (Actually, as we studied at the beginning of this
        series, the disciples understanding of their mission
        at this point was not very good. Apparently, it was
        much better than Lot’s work!)

      3. When Jesus says “be shrewd as snakes and as innocent
        as doves” what lesson does He want His disciples to
        learn? (Use your common sense! Use your brains! Some
        Christians complain about “seeker” services, about
        using commercial techniques to market the church and
        make it attractive to the world. Their view is that
        the dusty, boring service they have is more spiritual
        — God will bring the right people in (never mind
        that few, if any, have come in during the last few
        years). Our Lord says when it comes to evangelizing
        the world, be as “shrewd snakes.”)

    6. Friend, will you take the steps to find your role as an
      effective disciple?

  4. Next week: Experiencing Discipleship.