Jesus commissioned the Eleven to make disciples. He commissioned these men that ‘He produced’ to now go and ‘reproduce’.
They were to teach and train and parent new believers to obey everything that Jesus had commanded them.
They were to ‘reproduce’ the same type of follower that Jesus had produced.
The Apostle Paul was all about this as he said to the struggling Corinthians:
I Corinthians 11:1
“Imitate me as I imitate Christ”.
Imitate in this verse is the word translated in most modern translations. (ESV, NASB, NET, NRSV, NKJV, HCSB) The NIV translates this verse as “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ”.
Certainly following an example is like imitating but isn’t quite as powerful.
Imitate – to copy, to duplicate. If you imitate someone, you copy what they do or what they produce.
I find it noteworthy that Paul did not tell the Corinthians to ‘imitate Jesus’, but rather he said to imitate him.
He was already imitating Jesus and he was their best chance to understand what that exactly looked like.
QUESTION: Are you inviting anyone to ‘imitate you’?