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A further pattern evolves in 2 Tm 2:1-2 where
Paul addresses Timothy as "my son" and encourages him to
perpetuate the process of replication to the fifth
generation! "And the things which you have heard me say in the
presence of many witnesses, entrust to reliable men who will also
be qualified to teach others also." It is important to note that
while the "teaching" here is verbal, it is directed toward
spiritual empowerment and action, as is suggested from the
previous verse and as we shall see in the next section.
Part II has just reviewed the nature of
discipleship as mimesis in the NT setting, let us now in
Part III briefly examine its content of discipleship: What does the
NT emphasize that a disciple was expected to do when he
imitated the life of his teacher/rabbi?
Let us step back for a moment and view the big
picture of the content of NT discipleship by asking five
simple questions: 1) What is it that the NT says that Jesus came
to do? 2) When ministering, what does he actually spend his time
doing? 3) What does Jesus tell his disciples to do? 4) What is it
that they actually spend their time doing? Finally, 5) what is
the reader of the NT (the "disciple of the disciples") expected
1) Frequently, when the New Testament writers
condense his ministry into a sentence or two they show Jesus in
opposition to the reign of the devil which appeared as demonic
possession, sickness, the disruption of nature, or sin: it was
"for this purpose that Jesus appeared, to destroy the works of
the Devil" (1 Jn 3:8). Peter spelled out the result of Jesus'
baptism and gave a summary of Jesus' mission on earth: "God
anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and power, . . .
he went around doing good and healing all who were under the
power of the devil, because God was with him" (Acts 10:38). Both
of these verses confirm the programmatic statement about Jesus
mission in Lk 4:18.
2) Summary statements about Jesus' mission
abound throughout the text of the Gospels with references to
healing and exorcisms:
That evening after sunset the people brought
to Jesus all the sick and demon-possessed. . . . Jesus healed
many who had various diseases. He also drove out many demons . .
. (Mk. 1:34//Mt. 8:16//Lk. 4:40-41).
. . . he had healed many, so that those with
diseases were pushing forward to touch him (Mk. 3:10//Mt.
The news about him spread . . . so that crowds of
people came to hear him and to be healed of their sicknesses (Lk.
At that time Jesus cured many who had diseases,
sickness and evil spirits, and gave sight to many who were blind
I will drive out demons and heal people today and
tomorrow, and on the third day I will reach my goal (Lk.
He welcomed them, and spoke to them about the
kingdom of God, and healed those who needed healing (Lk.
Great crowds came to him, bringing the lame, the
blind, the crippled, the mute and many others, and laid them at
his feet; and he healed them. The people were amazed when they
saw the mute speaking, the crippled made well, the lame walking
and the blind seeing. And they praised the God of Israel (Mt.
Large crowds followed him, and he healed them there
The blind and the lame came to him at the temple,
and he healed them (Mt. 21:14).
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