We’re looking at Matthew 28 verses 19 and 20. This passage is referred to as the Great Commission, and it has historically been considered to apply to all followers of Jesus.
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Unfortunately, we followers of Jesus have ignored our personal responsibility to carry out this command. We’ve convinced ourselves this command applies only to the paid staff and those who God “calls” to become missionaries.
My last post focused on “Go”. This post will look at making disciples. To view all the posts in this series please click on The Great Omission tab on the menu bar.
Jesus’s command to make disciples is a tall order for us. However, if He didn’t think we, with His help, could do it He wouldn’t have told us to do it.
Why are we overwhelmed by this part of the Commission?
First, most of us feel extremely under qualified, and for good reason. We struggle with what it means to be a disciple. We read where Jesus expects a complete surrender of our lives, and we know we’re not there yet. We’re not even sure what complete surrender means. We conclude we can’t be expected to lead someone else to become a disciple when we’re still trying to figure it out ourselves.
Second, we don’t know where to begin. We don’t possess a holy zap that instantly makes a disciple. We’re in good company. Although Jesus could instantly create a fully surrendered disciple, He has chosen not to. Discipleship is a growth process, but it begins with an intentional decision to follow Jesus in every way possible.
Please understand a decision to accept Jesus as our Savior is not a decision to completely surrender our lives to Him. Although it may be our intent to surrender every part of our lives to Him, until we understand what that means we can’t follow through.
How do I begin to make a disciple? It has to begin with a relationship of trust with another individual. Being part of a small group Bible study, whether it is in a traditional Sunday school class or a Life Group, is a great place to build and grow a trust relationship. Critical to that relationship is the intentional emphasis on completely surrendering our lives to following Jesus. Our Bible studies must stress discipleship. Does yours?
The paid staff can facilitate the environment for trust relationships, but it was never meant to do all the work, regardless of the size of the congregation.
In my series on True Discipleship, I accused the church of making discipleship optional. I don’t think there is enough understanding of the expectation of being a follower of Jesus.
You and I are the church. So while I seem to be pointing my finger at the organization called the church I have to include you and me. By ignoring the command to make disciples we individual Christians have made discipleship optional.
How nice it would be if we could blame the organized church for our failure to obey the Great Commission. But Jesus spoke those words before there was an organized church. He spoke to individuals. We’re part of that audience.
Beyond small groups, we need to be constantly on the lookout for someone with whom we can walk the Christian journey. Let’s confess our inadequacy and find another inadequate Christian and learn from each other. When we admit what we don’t know, perhaps that will lead us to finding the answer.
I believe the Holy Spirit can cause amazing transformations in those who want to become real disciples of Jesus. I believe the Holy Spirit is waiting for us to ask for His help in making disciples. What are we waiting for?
For a great book on being a disciple I recommend not a fan by Kyle Idleman. It will open your eyes to the need to be a true follower of Jesus.
We need to step up and obey the words of Jesus. The church needs fully surrendered disciples. Jesus told us to make them. Will we?