"Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the age.” Matthew 28: 19-20
Yesterday, during our staff devotions, this question somehow came up (we went from Romans 3 to Matthew 28, but I am not quite sure how it got there). I asked them, "What is the great commission?"
The answers I heard were:
"Go and preach the gospel."
"Go and tell others about Jesus."
"Go and evangelize."
Only ONE said, "Go and make disciples."
So, then we talked about Jesus and we talked about his 12 disciples. We talked about the fact that he had many followers, but only 12 disciples, and even one of those didn't believe in the end. And we talked about what it meant for Jesus to "make disciples" out of these ordinary men.
My teachers said:
"He did miracles."
"He showed them how to pray."
"He taught them."
All true and necessary.
But I am continually challenged by the fact that Jesus...
ate with them.
walked with them.
laughed with them.
played with little children.
withdrew to be alone.
danced at weddings.
Jesus didn't just do the supernatural with these 12...he walked along BESIDE them and lived his life WITH them.
And he taught them how natural the supernatural really is.
And he showed them that when you are tired, you rest and get refilled.
And he taught them that if you believe in the Father and the Son, it changes everything...you set it all aside for the sake of following him.
And I think that disciple-making should look more like BEING the gospel and less like PREACHING AT them.
We talked about what it would look like to reflect Jesus to others by choosing those in our families and lives to pour into...how would that change the face of today's Christian?
Yes, you will still have some choose not to follow...but I know that if each believer understood what it looked like to disciple others...we would be a living, breathing body of Christ that could change the world.
We are responsible for that calling. It wasn't something asked of just the few gathered around Jesus at the time, but it is asked of all faithful followers of Christ.
"Go and make disciples..."