When Disciples Surpass Their Disciplers

“The disciple is not above his master: but every one that is perfect shall be as his master.” Luke 6:40  Ever heard this verse used to suggest that a disciple of Jesus being discipled by another disciple of Jesus shouldn’t seek to be more of a disciple than the one discipling him or her?  

When we’re discipling someone and another comes along and offers something more than we are, our reactions lean towards jealousy, control, disunity and fear.  We worry that our weaknesses will be exposed by our disciples inability to grow further under our mentoring.  We’re offended when someone we’re discipling wants to be a “better follower of Christ” than we are.

We Go All Gandalf On Them

We should, if our hearts are in the right place, welcome others into the discipling process.  If I love my neighbor and want the best for them spiritually speaking, then I should hope that someone more gifted than I can take someone I have been discipling to a more spiritually mature state.  If I’m fortunate, perhaps that same person will take me there to.  Regardless, I’d like to ask a few questions:

Is it wrong for a disciple to want to go beyond his or her discipler?

Is it wrong for a discipler to keep a disciple from surpassing him or her?

Is the Master/Disciple relationship applicable in modern day Disciple Making?  Why? or Why Not?  



0 thoughts on “When Disciples Surpass Their Disciplers

  1. chosenrebel says:

    1. NO.
    2. YES!
    3. No, yes. It’s the wrong question. We are to make disciples by pointing people to Jesus, helping them to find time with Jesus, helping them to listen to Jesus, helping them to discern his voice, interpret his word, follow his commandments, love his people, herald his kingdom. Of necessity, that process will involve spending time with us and learning from us but the objective is always to be an arrow pointing them to Jesus. So the question might be better put, “Is older brother/younger brother (or sister) a better picture for discipleship than Master/disciple?

  2. Laurie Norris says:


    Due to a lack of devoted followers, the world has stopped producing great leaders.

    Pretty near the only time I find myself in a position of leadership is when I am driving the speed limit on a road that has no room to pass. In such cases I gain many unhappy followers some of whom will risk their own lives and the lives of others to overtake me on a curve.

  3. David Bartholomew says:

    Jesus is our Master. All others are fellow disciples. Teachers/Leaders who use this verse to keep others from becoming a disciple maker with a farther reach than they have are only being a bottle-neck that keeps the Kingdom of God from reaching further into the world.

    It is not from a lack of followers that we lack great leaders, it is because of leaders who forget that their job is to prepare the Church for good works – not for them to amass more followers.

  4. Mark Guinn says:

    I think it should be our goal for those we’re investing in to surpass us.it can expose a lot of fear and identity issues though and if someone else more gifted is involved that makes it even more intense. Still, we should change the goalposts of discipleship so we view that as a win when get to release someone into the next season – whether that’s doing “greater works” or being discipled by someone else.

    Could we argue that’s what Jesus was doing in John 16? It’s good that I go so the father can send you another (holy spirit)? Allowing the relationship to change for the good of the other. Maybe that’s a stretch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.