I can only imagine what the twelve disciples must have felt spending three years with the Messiah. Talk about an exclusive membership. They were learning and following God in the flesh. However, as I read through the gospels I can’t help but to get a sense of the mission that Jesus had for His disciples.
We must go on to other towns as well, and I will preach to them, too. That is why I came.
Jesus was certainly relational with His disciples, but there was always a strong sense of mission accompanied with the relational context He built. Often times we lose sight or maybe the sense of urgency for God’s mission. I was talking to Pastor Russ after a morning prayer session last week about evangelizing and he said that nearly 90% of Christians will never personally lead someone to Jesus before they die. He said that one of the first things that tends to fade in a Christ follower’s life is the passion to win other people to Jesus.
In view of all this, it makes sense that Matthew 28:18-20 was the last thing that Jesus said to His disciples before ascending to heaven.
Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. 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. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
Again, priority number one for Jesus was that His disciples would know who He was. It’s the same now. Jesus wants to reveal himself to us. Peter understood this and exhorted us to grow in our knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. We need to know Jesus. We need to be baptized in His love. We need to invite Him into our lives. He must become our Lord and sit on the throne of our heart. Only when we lose ourselves in Him can we really begin to make disciples.
The first line in the great commission is Jesus reminding us of who He is. That he has been given all authority in heaven and on earth. He didn’t usurp that power or cut a deal with God. He is legally entitled to it. That authority was given to Him and with that knowledge we must GO and MAKE. My friends, we must remember that we GO in the authority and power of Jesus. It is not in our own strength that we go and try to convert people to a particular religion. We are called to be His witnesses and to tell people what we have experienced in our own lives.
With that proclamation we make disciples because the gospel is not just a starting point for salvation; it is the very power that makes us grow in our faith. We must teach people to sink deeper into this brilliant message. This message saves us and progressively sanctifies us in our lives. I write this blog to encourage you to go and make disciples. It’s not about having great intellect, being overtly cerebral, and downloading what we’ve learned to others who don’t know as much as us. We must point others to Jesus. Please don’t allow timidity to rob you from the power of going. When we go we grow. Why? Because you are changed when you see the power of God move in other people’s lives. Let us become passionate in accomplishing Jesus’ mission to make disciples.
I’m Harold Dorrell Briscoe. Thanks for reading.