Being and making Disciples
“And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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,teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
So there we have it. The words of Jesus that announce what has come to be known as “The Great Commission”. Our marching orders as Jesus followers and disciples.a
i wonder if the disciples were afraid that day? Did they secretly wonder if they had what it would take? Did they wish they could wait for just a bit longer, until they were certain they had the right words to say, enough time to commit, the knowledge, the energy. Did they secretly wish for a vision that was more concrete and strategic? Within their hearts were any of them wondering, ” But hold on Jesus! Go where?! Where do we start exactly?!”
I think when it comes to disciple making we often have the very same questions and doubts in our minds. But Jesus has given us answers to these questions and directions for how to begin. He has provided all we need to follow His lead. The first thing we need to do is remember that it is not arguments and brilliant proof texting that calls people into the Kingdom of God. It is love. We can let go of the fear that that our knowledge of scripture isn’t strong enough.
It is love for the people Jesus has deliberately placed in our lives and on our paths,that draws people into a relationship with Jesus.
So where do we start?
We start first with ourselves by working on our own characters. Jesus said he needs his followers to be salt and light in the world. He tells us that when people are around us they should know by what they see that we are people whose lives are worth imitating. People whose characters are above reproach. People who behave the same when no one is looking as we do in front of a crowd. We get these imitatable lives by surrendering to God daily. By working through His power and not our own.
Next, we open up our lives to the people around us. We make ourselves accessible to the people God has placed in our paths. Discipleship can’t happen from a distance. It happens from the context of a relationship.
So look around you. Do you have people in your life who need the love of Jesus? They may be your neighbors, your friends, family, co-workers. They may be the person who pours your coffee each morning at your local coffee shop. Let them see for themselves what God has done in your life.