Was Jesus an advisor, coach, or a mentor?
The answer, Yes! He wore all three hats.
Jesus was an advisor. Now this one’s a little tricky. Generally, when we think of an advisor we think of one who gives guidance and it’s optional to follow it. Here’s how Google defines advice;
“Guidance or recommendations concerning prudent future action, typically given by someone regarded as knowledgeable or authoritative.”
Can you think of anyone more knowledgeable or authoritative than Jesus? If He gave guidance, wouldn’t you eagerly embrace whatever He said? But He didn’t give recommendations or suggestions. His advice was always true, right, and with God’s glory at the forefront. Of course, there were those who didn’t take his advice and they paid dearly for their lack of judgment. What do you do when someone’s guidance is 100% accurate 100% of the time? You take their advice! But as authoritative as Jesus is, you still have a choice.
But Jesus was also a coach? Remember the 70? They weren’t as close as the 12 but He trained them in ministry skills nonetheless. He sent them out to search for the person of peace and even debriefed them when they returned. Of course, He did the same with the 12 but here’s the difference; He didn’t spend near as much time with the 70 as He did with the 12. This is the clarifying difference in my definition between coach and mentor. The 70 were close enough to Jesus to see Him modeled the skills, assist and watch them as they practiced the skills, and then launched them to perform the skills on their own. So Jesus’ example of coaching is evidence you can train disciples in ministry skills without being their mentor.
Now when it comes to the 12, He was clearly a mentor. Jesus was involved with every aspect of their life. He instructed, encouraged, exhorted, and rebuked them as needed. When you consider the sheer amount of time they spent together, there is little doubt Jesus knew them well and He loved them extravagantly. He was always asking them great questions. He was patient with their weaknesses. He protected them like a good shepherd. He healed their family members. He covered them with the Word and was committed to them until the end. And ultimately, He was their perfect example. He was their pathfinder leading the way on how to walk with God. No one was closer to Jesus and got more tailored instruction than the 12.
Here’s the kicker. Every disciple has the opportunity to have Jesus as their advisor, coach and/or mentor because of the indwelling Holy Spirit. So let me ask this question; “Do we want Jesus to just give us advise? Or do we just want Him to coach us on ministry skills? Or do we want Him to be involved in the whole of our lives as our mentor?” It’s our choice.
Call to Action: Spend some time in prayer asking Jesus for guidance, coaching, and mentoring. Read through the Gospel of Luke and identify the three hats that Jesus wore.
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