Matthew 28:18-20 – Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (NIV 1984)
My Musings – My dad did not originate the saying, but he liked to quote it “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” I wonder what makes some think the mission statement in Matthew 28 is broken and needs our “fixin’?”
A disciple is someone who follows another person or another way of life and who submits himself to the discipline (teaching) of that leader or way.(1) This begs the question: what would make someone want to follow and submit to Jesus? And then, how do we make disciples? How do we fulfil our co “mission” statement given to us by Jesus?
People need to hear from us the teaching of Jesus (what we say) and see in us the life of Jesus (what we do). It takes more than a program, t-shirt, bumper sticker or coffee mug to communicate the Gospel. It takes a life that is transformed. If people do not hear and see the Master in what we consistently say and do, how can they possibly become a disciple of someone that we claim to be a disciple of? If we are not faithful in our representation of Kingdom living, how can we possibly expect others to want to be subject to its King?
My Advice – We cannot make disciples if we are not disciples ourselves. What we say and what we do must be in agreement and must be a reflection of Christ.
- John 10:27 – My sheep listen to my voice [what we say]; I know them, and they follow me [what we do]. (NIV 1984)
- 1 John 3:18 – Dear children, let’s not merely say that we love each other; let us show the truth by our actions. (NLT 2013)
(1)Helm, P. (1988). Disciple. In Baker encyclopedia of the Bible (Vol. 1, p. 629). Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Book House.