Type in the word “mentor” in a word search on Bible Gateway…and you get 0 Results!

Type in the word “mentee” in a word search on Bible Gateway…and you get 0 Results!

You get the same results when you enter “mentored” or “mentoring!”

But that doesn’t mean there’s nothing in the Bible on the subject! Consider this list of the mentor/mentee pairs in the Bible.


Mentor/Mentee Pairs










Priscilla and Aquila/Apollos (Acts 18:24-28)


Reflecting on the list we’ve made are there any observations?

Anything these mentoring pairs have in common?

Anything contrasts you notice?

  • Some pairs were living life together (ie.Moses/Joshua,) while others have a long-distance relationship after initial time together (ie. Paul/Timothy.)
  • Some of the relationships involve succession or handing off leadership, while other are more situational
  • There is often a sense of reciprocity in the mentoring (ie. Saul-Paul/Barnabas.)


  1. Often, there are similar descriptions of the mentor and mentee as if mentees become “like” their mentors:

Gabriel says to Mary, “Greetings, you who are highly favored! The Lord is with you.” (Luke 1:28)

Elizabeth is described as being “filled with the Holy Spirit.” (Luke 1:41)

Barnabas is the first name included in a listing of prophets and teachers in the church at Antioch. (Acts 13:1)

Saul is the last name in this same list! Just a few verses later, “Saul, who was also called Paul,” is said to have been filled with the Holy Spirit. (Acts 13:9)

Upon successfully leading the Israelites in crossing the Jordan, Joshua 4:14 says “That day the Lord exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel; and they revered him all the days of his life, just as they had revered Moses.

Note: Yet there is also the reality that the individuals’ ministries/roles often took very different forms, and required totally different gift sets from their mentors.

  1. Especially in the NT, but I think a case could be made as well in the OT, mentoring includes a measure of discipleship…practicing God’s ways/becoming God’s people in the OT…and following Jesus/being transformed into his likeness (II Co. 3:18) I think of the words of Paul in I Corinthians 11:1: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.”
  1. Check me on this…I believe it’s true, there are no pairs of mentors before the people of God are formed/delivered out of Egypt…Mentoring in the Bible is often/always(?) about leadership. Observation: Yet, no kings made our list! J


Dwelling in the Word

See attached Dwelling in the Word based on Mark 10:35-45.

Summary Notes from Dwelling

  • Jesus extends grace even as he corrects!
  • Jesus says, “Sorry I can’t do that for you.” Mentors have limitations that are best recognized.
  • Jesus’ response allows James and John’s motives to be revealed, and speaks to motives of those who would lead.
  • Jesus started by listening.
  • Jesus’ mentoring happens in the midst of living life together.
  • Jesus saw a problem as an opportunity, a teaching moment.
  • Jesus was both direct and gentle.
  • Jesus was patient…let it play out…didn’t fix it or end it before it could fully develop.
  • Tensions between position-and true authority; selfishness-and emptying; maturity-and wisdom.
  • The question asked is about destination. Jesus’ response is about the journey.
  • Most significant mentors have been models of service!
  • Humility is required both in mentoring and being mentored.
  • There is a connection between mentoring and discipleship.


2 Corinthians 3:18 (NRSV)

18 And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit.