Make Diciples

This week we are looking at the famous text in the New Testament which, since the days of the great missionary William Carey, we refer to as “The Great Commission”.  I’m not sure if William Carey could have ever imagined the technological world we live in today and it’s seemingly endless possibilities for transmitting the Gospel message.  However, even with all our technology, it still requires obedient hearts to get the job done.  Yesterday, we looked at what it meant that all authority has been given to Christ.  Today, we are considering the command, “make disciples”.

16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” [1]

In most missionary services I have either witnessed or been a part of, the emphasis has always been on going.  While you can’t make disciples without going somewhere, the foundational command of this text is not “go” but “make disciples”.  So, if we are commanded by Christ to make disciples, a legitimate question would be, “what is a disciple?”

In Scripture, the main idea of discipling is learning in the context of relationship.  This is exactly what Christ did with his disciples.   Christian disciples are people are people who have a deep, abiding commitment to the person of Jesus Christ.  It is more than a philosophy.  They hold to the teaching of Christ (John 8:31-32), they love one another (John 13:35) and they bear fruit for Christ.  I think a quote from Michael Wilkins expresses best what discipleship involves:

“Jesus declared that to be a disciple is to become like the master.  Becoming like Jesus includes going out with the same message, ministry, and compassion, practicing the same religious and social traditions, belonging to the same family of obedience, exercising the same servanthood, experiencing the same suffering and being sent in the same way to the same world.” (Wilkins 2000)

In short, being a disciple of Jesus is to bear his message and continue his ministry.  Nothing else will do.  Are you a disciple of Jesus or do you just hold to the philosophy of Christianity?  If we are disciples, we will be making disciples.  Tomorrow, we will discuss what the implied going in this command is all about.

[1] The Holy Bible: English Standard Version. (2001). (Mt 28:16–20). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

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1 Response to Make Diciples

  1. Pingback: 1/26/2014 Follow Christ | ForeWords

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