Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshipped him, but some doubted. 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. (Matthew 28:16-20)
On a Mission
The simple word "go" tells us that disciples are people who have been sent on a mission. When Jesus tells us "go," he´s sending us on a mission. The actual grammatical construction (in the original Greek text) says "as you are going," or "as you go." The idea is, "Wherever you go, wherever your journey takes you…." OK. To be a disciple means you have confidence in Jesus´ authority, so when he says "go," you will go. But what is the mission?
What is the Mission?
The obvious answer is "make disciples." But that answer implies that you must first be a disciple yourself. (You can´t help someone else become what you are not yourself exemplifying, right?) So, let´s define our mission like this … To be and make disciples. In other words, Jesus sends us into the world to learn to live life to the full as he taught, and to help others learn to live life to the full as he taught too.
What´s Our Mission All About?
Our mission is about being and making disciples … learning from Jesus how to live life to the full and helping others learn too. When Jesus says, "teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you," he is putting the two sides of the coin together.
Side 1: I have commanded you … being disciples
Side 2: Teaching them … making disciples
We Missed It
In modern times, we have often missed how powerful these words are. Jesus doesn´t say, "Teach them information I have informed you with." He doesn´t say, "Teach them the belief system I have taught you." Rather, he says, "I have taught you a way of life. Practice that way of life. And teach others to live as you yourselves have begun learning to live. The way of life you have learned from me … teach others all over the world."
Live The Message
Yep. That´s it. There is a powerful balance in these words: teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. Some people reduce being a disciple to quietly obeying in their private lives without teaching others, and some focus on teaching without exemplifying. But it´s clear that to be a disciple means to learn to live Jesus´ message … and to influence others to do the same.
It´s time for some personal assessment:
Have you accepted this as your mission – to be a disciple and make disciples, to learn to live as Jesus teaches, and to help others to do so as well? What´s your mission in life? Think of all the competing missions people live by – to acquire wealth or possessions… to achieve comfort or enjoy leisure… to be popular or powerful or famous… to gain personal security… to advance a political cause, etc. Are you willing to put this mission from Jesus Christ above all others in your one and only life?
It´s Not Just in Your Head
Discipleship doesn´t just face you with a question about your belief system. It faces you with the challenge of a mission – a mission that you will accept or reject, a mission that you will give priority to or a mission which you will subordinate to other priorities. Before we move on, why don´t you take a few minutes to write a prayer that expresses to God your response to Jesus´ call to mission. You could begin by saying, "God, I accept this mission…."
Lesson 2 Review
Disciples are people with a mission: to be and make disciples. Let´s look at those words from Jesus again. Notice two key words…. "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."