Many are familiar with the great commission to go and make disciples, Matthew 28. But, how do we do that? The same way Jesus did, by modelling to others what the Christian life looks like and by doing the journey of life with people. That’s the whole point of being #present. It is so we can begin to show those people around us by our actions what it looks like to be in relationship with God.
Towards the end of last year we had a series on Faith Works where we talked about the importance of being planted in a church. The importance of planting is that you cannot be discipled or disciple others if you are doing the Christian journey on your own. Discipleship in essence is about being in each other’s business. Where Jesus went, the disciples went there too. Where Jesus ate, they ate there too. If He got up to go somewhere, they would follow Him. Unless He specifically instructed otherwise, they stuck to Him like white on rice.
They saw how He prayed, How He treated people. How He laid hands on lepers and reached out to the rejected. They saw how He looked at people- not with pity but with compassion. They saw how He was relatable. The reason why the church began and survived after Jesus’ ascension to heaven is because Jesus invested into the 12 disciples. They were witnesses to His character and personality that they could truly look at people and tell them about the love of Christ.
God plants us in church families not so we can have something to do on the weekend but so we can do life with each other. Check in on each other. We too are meant to stick to our spiritual leaders, our pastors, like white on rice. We are to learn from them, glean from them the truths they have learned along the way about serving Jesus, who He is and His nature. He doesn’t change. His methods may change but His nature is always the same.
See Jesus didn’t tell the multitudes that followed Him to go make disciples. They didn’t know Him well enough to do so. The great commission was given to the 11. Matthew 28:16- 20 says, “Meanwhile, the eleven disciples heard the wonderful news from the women and left for Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had arranged to meet them. The moment they saw him, they worshiped him, but some still had lingering doubts. Then Jesus came close to them and said, “All the authority of the universe has been given to me. Now go in my authority and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And teach them to faithfully follow all that I have commanded you. And never forget that I am with you every day, even to the completion of this age.”
The great commission is for disciples to go make disciples. It is hard to teach someone how to be a disciple if you are not a disciple yourself. God’s way of doing things is that He plants us in a church so we can be discipled. As we grow and mature in Him, we get to disciple others too. We get to meet the new people not with judgement but with compassion and say, “I used to be in your position once. Come, let’s do this together.” We can’t teach others faithfulness if we ourselves are not faithful. So, we need to be faithfully serving and fully planted in our church so we can grow and be discipled and in time we too can turn around and help others grow and become disciples.
When we accept Jesus in the salvation prayer, we become believers but it takes planting and faithfulness to go from a believer to a disciple. Unless Jesus specified that He wanted certain disciples with Him, we don’t see instances where only 1 disciple showed up or he had 5 and the others were unaccounted for. The 12 were all there with Him, all the time. They were faithful. Faithfulness is the first step in becoming a disciple and being a disciple is part of God’s plan for our lives.
Love and blessings,