Note: This two-part article is a chapter from the book Teach As He Taught by Robert Delnay. Published by Moody Press in 1987, the chapter is reprinted by permission.
So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple.
The goal of our teaching is to make disciples. To make disciples we must make demands. A veteran missionary was explaining his success in planting several churches: “We have not been afraid to make demands on our converts.” Nor was Jesus.
The question we face is how many such demands we may rightly put upon our disciples. Many of us live with the desire not to put other people to any trouble, and if we want a lot done right, we prefer to do it ourselves. Why be obtrusive? Why be a bother? Is it not more Christlike to do favors than to ask for them, to give rather than to receive?
Well, not always.
Many have observed that Jesus did not do for people what they could do for themselves. He turned the water into wine, but others had to do the pouring. He healed the paralytic, but others had gone to the work of lowering him down into Jesus’ presence. The disciples prepared the Last Supper; only then did Jesus serve the food. He did wash their feet that night, but that was no exception when we consider what a powerful teaching device He made it.