Go . . . Make Disciples: Matt. 28:19-20
In Week 2, we began exploring one of the last commands Christ gave his followers before ascending into heaven, “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 . . .” (Matt. 28:19 ESV). This week we are going to explore the other half of this command – Go . . . make disciples.
Whenever we see “therefore” in Scripture, it is important to ask, “What is the ‘therefore’ there for?” In this passage the “therefore” is preceded by a very important declaration from Christ. In vs. 18, Jesus declares that all authority has been given to Him, both in heaven and on earth. He declares that He is supreme—there are none above him or who can withstand Him. Therefore, based on His declaration of His authority and power, He commands us to go.
Think about the power of that command. The almighty Creator of the universe, the One who quite literally holds our lives in His nail-scarred hands, the Savior who allowed Himself to be rent asunder for our sins, commands us to go. How is it that we so easily yield to the authority of red and blue flashing lights in our rearview mirrors, but we defiantly resist our Redeemer when he says “go”?
Going is not passive. It is active, literally taking action to fulfill the command and requires not just to be ready for the next opportunity to share the gospel; it requires us to be actively looking for the next opportunity to share the gospel. But, here’s the best part—we are not going in our own strength and authority. We are going in the strength and authority of Christ! When we rest in His authority, whom shall we fear?
We are commanded to share the gospel with the lost. We should be having gospel conversations and handing out gospel tracts. But, we need to be mindful that sharing the gospel is not the equivalent of making disciples. Making disciples is so much more. Conversion happens in a moment; discipleship happens over a lifetime. So, how do we make disciples instead of mere converts?
The key is found in vs. 20. Jesus tells us we make disciples by “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Making disciples requires investment on our part. It requires us to spend the time to show that new believer what it means to be a fully devoted follower of Christ. It requires us to speak the truth in love, both teaching and modeling the commands of Christ. Just as we invest our lives in a new born infant, nurturing him until he’s ready to face the world on his own, so too we must be willing sacrificially love and nurture our new brothers and sisters in Christ.
Week 4 Questions:
- How have you been at going? Are you purposefully putting yourself in situations where you will have the opportunity to share the gospel?
- How are you at making disciples? Christ’s command didn’t limit discipleship to preachers—it’s for all believers. So, who are you discipling? Have you made yourself available to be discipled?
- When you were a new believer, who, if anyone, invested in you? What was the most impactful thing he or she said or did?
- How is Redeemer Church doing at discipleship? What can we as a church do better in this area?