“Make Disciples of All Nations” – Jesus
These are some of Jesus’ last words on earth. Make disciples. As a member of a missionary organization like Cru, I think I have often interpreted Matthew 28:18-20 as “Do evangelism in every place.” Now this would be similar to Jesus’s final last words found in Acts 1:8 “And you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and all the ends of the earth.” This one might well be interpreted and you will “do evangelism” in all nations…
Of course making disciples is way more complex than making converts, but I think the idea I’m trying to express here is that we often create a false dichotomy between evangelism and discipleship when Matthew 28 links them together.
Over the years, I’ve often heard students express something to the effect of, “I’m not called on staff or stint with Cru. I see myself in more of a discipleship ministry.”
I remember a terrible movie that came out when I was younger – I believe it was called CHUD (which stood for cannibalistic humanoids underground dwellers). And I remember thinking, “well that society won’t last long!” Not sure how you can build a long lasting society based on “eat thy neighbor.”
The word “disciple” in the Greek has the sense of pupil or follower. The student follows the teacher. If our concept of discipleship is devoid of evangelism, then the generations of disciples ends quickly.
Disciple making is way more than drinking coffee at the student union and talking theology or purity or marriage (though I love a good cup of coffee and a robust theological dialogue). It involves developing whole-hearted followers of Jesus who are committed to observing all that he commanded. And one of the commands he made is “GO.”
Go – it means don’t stay. Go. The Greek word for go has a present continuous tense to it. Keep going. As you go…Wherever you go, make disciples. There’s an assumption of going and there’s an assumption of ministry. God has called us to a specific ministry and that is disciple making. At the time, there was no great abundance of believers – in fact, there were about 120 believers in the upper room awaiting the holy spirit. If they were going to make disciples of all nations, they were going to have to proclaim the gospel.
And the beautiful thing is – they did! The reason you are reading this post is because at some point, the disciples went and made more disciples who made more disciples and so on through the centuries until someone invested in you and tagged you and said, “you’re it.”
God’s call of disciple making remains. As there are still huge pockets of people around the world who will be born, live and die without ever hearing a clear gospel presentation in their language, the call to “Go” remains too!
So if God is calling us to go make disciples of all nations, why are we staying here? Go!
Wondering where to Go? Start by Going here: WeAreSent.Com