Part 2 of a series of blogs on discipleship
Much has been made of the importance of a person’s last words. And we all know Jesus’ last words in Matthew 28; the Great Commission.
Jesus said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Generations of disciples were at the heart of Jesus’ plan. The only way such a plan can work is for each generation to disciple the next. That is why Jesus’ parting words were;
Make disciples of all nations and teach them to obey everything I taught you.
It is not enough to preach the gospel to all nations. It is not enough that we evangelize people. Those who believe must also be taught to obey all that Christ has taught.
The people whom the 12 evangelized and discipled were every bit as strategic to the progress of the Gospel as the original disciples were. These 2nd generation believers were the insiders to their communities, who had natural connections with families, society, and the workplace. They were “the locals”. As such, they were positioned to take the Gospel into the corners and back alleys of their society, something the Apostles could not do.
Each one of us is uniquely connected to a network of lost people who constitute our calling. We can be like the 12 were at first; blind to the people around us. Or we can become what the twelve became, equipped and empowered disciples sent by God to those who have not yet heard the Good News. If the Gospel is truly to penetrate a place, it will be through the people Jesus calls to be the salt and light.
Plowing the ground to prepare the soil is the first step. Sowing good seed is second. And then intentional discipling comes next. So pay attention. Jesus’ last words were not to plow or to sow, but to disciple. To reproduce our lives in others.
This is the assignment of a disciple – reproduction.