Matthew 28: 18b-20 (NIV): “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 the Son and 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.”
3 things to do:
1. make disciples.
2. baptize them.
3. teach them to obey.
Mark 16:15 (if included in the original), 1 more thing to do:
1. “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” Note: the signs and wonders that are to accompany is not our doing – not exactly.
Luke 24 (and Acts 1) add one more element to our to do list:
1. Be Witnesses
And John adds:
1. Follow me!
So, it has been 2000 years. How are we doing so far? What do you mean, not so good?
John: I follow him, I mean, Jesus.
Well, I’m a Christian anyway. I go to church fairly regularly and I contribute to the work of the church. If I don’t actually do the works, I give money to support the works. Isn’t that following?
No, that is admiration from afar. That is not following. That is paying off God. That is keeping God at arm’s length. Works and money are fine and well, but God wants YOU to be a disciple.
Luke: Okay, but I witness. True, I haven’t actually seen anything or experienced much of what I could call the hand of God, but I have heard about things. I know the gospel, basics.
And you share this?
Well, not lately, but I am a Christian anyway and I have invited people to church a few times so they can hear the words for themselves. That is like assistant witnessing, isn’t it?
No. That kind of witnessing would not do any good in a court of law. God wants you to see and hear for yourself, to truly witness him so you can become the person he knows you can be.
Mark: Okay, but we preach the gospel every Sunday in church. That is what we were told to do – preach the gospel. True, I don’t do the actual preaching, but I go and listen most of the time.
In the Sanctuary? A sanctuary is a place people can go to escape the world and be protected from the world. No, that is not preaching the gospel to all creation.
Matthew: Man, give me some slack.
He told us to obey.
Now wait a minute. I heard that obedience is not necessary. It is supposed to be all about grace, isn’t it? I mean, I try to be a good person and all, but obedience? Hasn’t Jesus taken care of all that?
He told us to baptize.
Now, there I got you. Okay, I don’t do the actual baptizing. The preacher does that, but I participate.
And you know what baptism is and what it is all about?
Well, sort of, mostly, I think.
He told us to make disciples.
Okay, I surrender. I know he had twelve disciples who followed him around. How can I be a disciple these days? I mean, he is not exactly here walking around like back then. Maybe I don’t understand what he meant by disciple……..so, I suppose you are going to tell me…….
I am going to try.