How Did Jesus Train and Develop His Disciples?

Throughout the New Testament, we read about the twelve disciples who followed Jesus and learned from Him during His earthly ministry. But have you ever wondered how Jesus trained and developed His disciples?

Leading by Example

One of the most important ways that Jesus trained His disciples was by leading by example. He modeled what it meant to follow God’s will, to love others, and to serve selflessly.

This is evident in many of His actions throughout the Gospels. For example, in John 13:1-17, Jesus washes His disciples’ feet as a demonstration of humble service.

Teaching through Parables

Jesus also used parables to teach His disciples important lessons about God’s kingdom. He often began with a simple story or analogy and then explained its deeper meaning. In Matthew 13:10-17, Jesus explains to His disciples why He speaks in parables and then goes on to explain the Parable of the Sower.

Challenging Their Assumptions

Another way that Jesus trained His disciples was by challenging their assumptions and conventional wisdom. In Mark 8:27-38, Peter confesses that Jesus is the Messiah but then rebukes Him when Jesus predicts His own death. Jesus responds with a rebuke of His own, telling Peter that he is thinking like a human rather than like God.

Encouraging Questions and Discussion

Jesus also encouraged questions and discussion among His disciples. In Mark 9:33-37, the disciples argue about who is the greatest among them. Rather than scolding them for their prideful behavior, Jesus uses this as an opportunity to teach them about humility and service.

Giving Them Opportunities to Serve

Finally, Jesus gave His disciples opportunities to serve Him and others. In Matthew 10:1-15, Jesus sends out His disciples to preach the gospel and heal the sick. This experience gave them firsthand experience in ministry and helped prepare them for their future work.


In all of these ways, Jesus trained and developed His disciples to be effective leaders and servants of God. By leading by example, teaching through parables, challenging assumptions, encouraging discussion, and giving them opportunities to serve, He prepared them for the important work that lay ahead. As we seek to follow in Jesus’ footsteps today, may we also learn from His example and train up disciples who will continue His work of spreading the gospel and serving others.