Aerial photography provided by Airgo Media
AUTHOR: Anne Durell
“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 28:19-20
Imagine the wonder the 11 disciples felt in the presence of the RISEN Christ in his last days on earth. Everything He did and said would have had special weight and significance. These particular words, the Great Commission, reach across the centuries and have great weight and significance for us, his current disciples, as well.
The Greek word used for “go” here is “poreuomai” – to travel, go forth, take a journey, walk. We are literally sojourners, living here on earth but citizens of heaven. God leads us on the journey and, as we are going,we are to make disciples. God provides the context – our church fellowship, our workplace, our neighborhood, our schools, our home…; we only need to prayerfully and faithfully make disciples.
Jesus modeled this for us. The disciples walked with Him, spent one on one time with Him, ate with Him, watched Him as He interacted with others, watched Him slip off for personal time with His Father, listened to Him teach, saw what made Him weep…They lived life with Him. Similarly, we are to live life with one another, teaching each other how to “obey everything I have commanded you.” There is a difference between knowing and doing, and we need to help each other through the difference. Living out our faith encumbered by a sin nature in an increasingly hostile environment is not easy. Jesus knew we would need each other’s help in this endeavor, as “iron sharpens iron.”
There are no qualifiers in the Great Commission. We are all called to make disciples and to be discipled. God has given us everything we need to obey this command – the Holy Spirit, His Word, His example, every spiritual blessing, spiritual gifts, a context… We just need to “go” and start walking and find some fellow travelers (and to remember that He is with us always.)
Discipleship leads to transformation – transformed individuals, communities, cities. If you are interested in learning more about discipleship and the network specifically please contact us.
One further item, we really encourage everyone to check out the Xenos Summer Institute, which will be held July 13-15 this year. The topic is “Love: The Mark of a Christian” and they have an excellent line-up of speakers including Larry Crabb, Ajith Fernando and Clive Calver. They also have very worthwhile break-out sessions. Please check it out at www.xenos.org/xsi.