Jesus Gives the Great Commission
Daily Bible Reading – 2 Samuel 19,20; Psalm 55; Matthew 28
Today’s Key Passage – Matthew 28:16-20
Following Jesus’ death, burial, and resurrection, he spent time with His disciples here on earth. Right before He left this world and returned to the right hand of the Father, He left the disciples with a parting command. Most followers of Christ have heard of the Great Commission, and most of them can even paraphrase the verse if not quote it verbatim. Interestingly, though, for some Christians there seems to be some confusion as to what Jesus really commanded us to do. In verses 19 and 20 of today’s key passage, Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” It sounds fairly straightforward, but there is a slight problem. Many times, as followers of Christ it can become easy for us to start focusing on the wrong word. We tend to focus on “Go”. We spend our time “going”, trying to do things for Christ. We try to “go” to show our love for Him. We think that “go” is the verb in Jesus’ sentence, but in the sentence, “Go and make disciples of all nations”; the word “go” is not the verb. This is not the action Jesus is calling us to do. The verb in the sentence is “make”. The action Jesus is calling each and every follower of Christ to do is to make disciples.
What does it mean to make a disciple? Does it mean leading people to Jesus? Absolutely. But it also means a lot more than that. When Jesus first called the twelve disciples, He did not simply introduce Himself to them and then walk away leaving them to fend for themselves. He did not tell them everything about Himself and then release them out into the world on their own. What Jesus did was He walked with them. He met with them regularly. He answered their questions. He taught them more about God. He showed them the path they should follow, and then He took them down that path Himself. This is how He made them disciples. When we read the Great Commission, and we begin to focus on the real goal of making disciples, what better example do we have to follow than the example set forth by our Lord? Introducing a lost soul to Jesus Christ is great. Answering his or her questions about Christ is wonderful. Leading them to salvation is awesome. But to truly make a disciple, we have to keep going – we have to walk with that person.
There are three more quick points I would like to share about today’s key passage. First, keep in mind that this is the Great Commission, not the Great Suggestion. Making disciples is not optional. This is a command to every one of us who call Jesus our Lord and Savior. Secondly, Jesus told us to make disciples of “all” nations. We are not to pick and choose who gets to hear about Jesus or who gets to come to Him. The homeless man or the ex-prostitute who walks into the church should be greeted with joy and thanksgiving and we should do everything we can to make them disciples. Finally, Jesus commanded that we teach others to “obey everything I have commanded”. Just as we are not to pick and choose who can come to Christ, we cannot pick and choose which parts of Jesus message we should be teaching others to follow. Many times, it can be easy to preach a “health and wealth” message, and leave out the parts about carrying our cross daily or dealing with persecution. Teach others everything Jesus commanded, not just the things we think they will want to hear.
My prayer today is that each one of you reading this will take some time out of your busy day to stop and think about the Great Commission. How are you doing with it? Are you focusing on the right words? Are you making disciples?
During your Bible reading today, what “key passages” stood out to you? Leave a comment below to share what God is showing you about His Word today.
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May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you today.
Posted on May 11, 2015, in 01 - Matthew and tagged Bible, Christian, Daily Bible, Daily Devotional, Evangelism, God, Godly Living, Great Commission, Jesus, Religion, Service. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.