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: 18 – 20
Here it is, the Great Commission. This is one of the clearest statements of what Jesus commands his followers to do after he is gone. But there’s a difficulty!
WHAT DOES JESUS MEAN BY “MAKE DISCIPLES”?
As I have mentioned before, I became a follower of Jesus when I was about 15 years old. Ellen invited me to a Bible Study led by a young college student named Bob Azzarito. That night I heard the gospel for the first time, and without hesitation I responded to the invitation to receive Jesus as my Savior and Lord.
In the weeks that followed I had hundreds of questions, so one night after the Bible Study, Bob gave me a book to read that would help me to begin reading the Bible and learn more about what it meant to follow Jesus. I didn’t realized it then, but Bob was really shaping my life as a disciple. He was doing the work of “making disciples”.
As a result of Bob’s example I began to try to lead people to Jesus. Whenever someone would get serious about following Jesus I would give them good books that would help introduce them to what it meant to follow Jesus, and I would always encourage them to begin reading their Bible. I didn’t know much, but I was imitating some of the basic things I had been taught.
Looking back, I realize that although I have never had anyone formally “disciple” me, this same pattern has been repeated in my life over and over. Many, many believers who were more mature than I was have spoken into every area of my life. Some were pastors, or Bible professors, but others were just members of the church: men and women who passed along what they had learned about following Jesus.
My story is just a little picture of what it means to make disciples, and it is something that Jesus has commanded that we all take part in, “to the very end of the age”. Over the next few weeks I will be sharing with you some of the ideas that I have gleaned from “The Discipleship Difference” by Bob Logan and Charles Ridley. I think you will find their insights biblically rooted and full of ideas that will help you make disciples.
After we are done with the series, if you would like to read more, I will share with you how to get a free copy of your own. In the mean time,
WHO ARE SOME OF THE PEOPLE WHO HAVE SPOKEN INTO YOUR LIFE?
WHAT CAN YOU LEARN FROM YOUR EXPERIENCE WITH THEM THAT WILL HELP YOU DISCIPLE OTHERS?
WHO ARE THE INDIVIDUALS THAT YOU ARE HELPING TO DISCIPLE?