Go Make Disciples is part of an ongoing series, Mrs Disciple 101.
Jesus’ last moments with His disciples established the path for the rest of their lives. Following Jesus was, in itself, life changing. These men left jobs, families, and broke tradition to learn from this carpenter-Rabbi. Their thinking changed from “you are a prophet” to “You are the Christ” (Mark 8:27-29)
Jesus gives them a clear mission up on the mountain:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Matthew 28:19
That same mission has been given to you. Jesus calls us, His followers, to go and make disciples. It is that command that brought me to this little space of the world wide web. This command encompasses evangelism, discipleship, missions, teaching, instructing. Leading people to Christ and teaching them how to follow Him is the call for every believer.
The Great Commission gives us 2 words to explore: go and discipleship.
When translated, “go” means “to continue on one’s journey, to lead or order one’s life” (Stongs, G4198). These men spent the last three years following Jesus. Just as Jesus stepped out of heaven to bring His message of love to the world, it is now their turn to go into the world, taking the Gospel with them. He sends them with no particular destination, only “all the nations.”
“Go” doesn’t mean we have to sell all we own and move to a third world country (although that is not out of the question). It is a call to take the Gospel with us on our way. For me, that is bringing the Gospel to my children, my co-workers, my patients, my small group, people I interact with in the marketplace, and you. For others, that may mean traveling to secret places to share The Good News quietly. Or speaking in front of a stadium full of seekers. Your “go” is unique to you.
I love the concept of discipleship! Jesus commanded His disciples to make more disciples. A disciple is a learner. Jesus modeled this for us, taking 12 ordinary men along with Him as He changed the world. He taught them heavenly precepts, ministered to their needs, and showed them how to live. Along the way, they became more like Jesus. When we practice the disciplines of a disciple, we become more like our Rabbi, Jesus. We then bring others along on that journey, teaching them the things we have learned.
Discipleship happens in group setting such as small groups and church classes. Discipleship happens in one-on-one relationships, mentoring, if you will. When you help someone who is a little further behind grow in his or her relationship with Christ, you are engaged in discipleship.
Are you currently in one of these relationships as the disciple or the teacher? I think it is important to spend time in both roles. We always have more to learn. We also have something to teach. You may feel as though you have nothing to share, but if you have been changed by Christ in any way, you have something valuable to share with someone else.
There are two dementions of making disciples: baptism and teaching.
This is the evangelical part of making disciples. How will they know unless someone tells them (Romans 10:14)? We have to speak up, to share the hope of Jesus with others. Admittedly, this is a weakness of mine. In an upcoming post, I will point you to some thoughts from others who can guide us both in this area. Evangelism is an imperative step in the process of making disciples.
Once someone believes in Jesus, they need instruction on living like Jesus. The apostles spent time making converts and instructing the church. There is a gap between believing Jesus died for your sins and making Him Lord. That is where biblical teaching comes in. This instruction can happen formally (small groups, writing, preaching) and informally (doing life together).
The call is clear. Jesus tells us to go and make disciples. My question for you is, how are you obeying this call? Are you sharing the Gospel with others? Are you finding ways to teach others the truths in God’s Word? Consider this clear command as you interact with others today.