Thoughts on Making Disciples 10
We've built relationships. We've broached the topic. We've even made the ask: "Yeah, once you come to faith, God wants you to grow to know him better. If you're interested, I can help with that." Or "You know a good thing to start doing is reading the Bible. I can help you get started. How about we meet next week and I can show you what I do?"
And we're off. Now what?
For a statement as important as to be dubbed THE Great Commission, it is surprisingly sparse: All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you. And lo I am with you always, even to the end of the age.
If the first part is directing us to begin with non-Christians - helping them come to faith, and the last part is a promise, the huge job of helping them grow to maturity is summed up in ten words. Ten words!
I think it's genius.
The trouble with saying too much is that it can be mistook for an exhaustive treatment. Instead of rallying our imagination, it can get us mired in the details of a recipe, which at best can only be partial.
Jesus instead leaves us with a very practical essential: Teach them to obey all that I've commanded you. Jesus calls to remembrance the essentials of my own discipleship to instruct some else. With an emphasis on relationship, both as a son/daughter and a subject/servant, I set out to teach them to obey the commands he has taught me to obey.
The person who knows my commandments and keeps them, that’s who loves me. And the person who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and make myself plain to him. John 14:21