One of my all time favorite Scripture versus is Matthew 28:19-20. It is part of Jesus’ great Commission. I find it interesting that these are among the last recorded words of Jesus and therefore seem to carry a little more weight. My beloved father has finished this part of life, and I can remember as he aged (gracefully) he got more serious about handing on the gems that he had learned throughout his life. He wanted my life to be easier and better than his, so he would pass on his knowledge, which I wish I would have listened to more.
With that in mind I approach this text with the same mindset. As I go through life this verse has become central to my Christian understanding. The answers to these questions provide the framework for the task to which Jesus has called us to participate in.
What is a disciple?
How does one make a disciple? How are disciples sent to all nations?
What is a disciple? A simple definition is found in Pastor Rick Warrens book “The Purpose Driven Life” A disciple is one who is pleasing God every day, this is true worship. They realize that they are pleasing to God and are an active member of a local body of believers, which is fellowship. They are striving to be body of believers, which is ministry. They share God’s love, forgiveness and hope with people who do not know Christ, which is mission. They live out the statement that Jesus loves you just the way you are. They will show us how to follow our faith and to be Just like Jesus.
How does one make a disciple? If we use the definition of a disciple above, then it follows that we must be about living out this command every day of our lives. We realize that we get to participate in a wonderful action of Jesus Christ. This is the heart of the Church and it’s purpose in the world.
How are disciples sent to all nations? I believe that our job as Christians is to help people understand that we are all called to incorporate these principles in our own lives. We are all called to be disciples. We are called by our baptism to worship, fellowship, ministry and mission. As we have received, so we are called to share with others. Whether we share it in our family, community, city, state, nation or globally, Jesus has given each one of us a wonderful gift of God’s love. He has also taught us that Love can not be contained, it is given to be shared with others. Where and how is Christ calling you to share YOUR faith? YES, you are being sent by Jesus to share what He has given to you.
Every time you share Love with someone, whether in a great or small way, you are fulfilling the great commission. Go and make disciples of all nations.
In Christ Love,
Rev. Stephen W. Barch