Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.
~ Matthew 28:16 (NIV)
Last words matter. If someone on their deathbed has one last statement, we want to know what it is. In Matthew 28 we find the last words of Jesus to us, the final charge from the Lord before He left Earth. They are familiar words, words that many of us have committed to memory:
“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 that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18–20)
These words are a charge. They are a command. They are a commission. That’s why we call these verses the Great Commission. We are all commanded to go and make disciples. Are you doing that? Are you making disciples of others? It takes one to make one. Before you can make a disciple, you have to be a disciple.
What do flight attendants say when they announce the emergency procedures for an aircraft? If an oxygen mask drops down and you’re traveling with a child, put the mask on yourself first and then help the child. That seems counterintuitive. You want to put the needs of the child first. But you need to put your mask on first, because you can’t help the child if you’re blacking out.
The same is true of discipleship. I can’t help someone else be a disciple of Jesus if I am not first a disciple myself. Every disciple is a Christian, but not every Christian is necessarily a disciple. If you’re a true follower of Jesus, you should want to be a disciple.
Lord Jesus Christ, you call us to follow you as disciples. Help us to respond wholeheartedly without counting the cost. You invite us to proclaim your gospel of hope and salvation here at home and to all nationals and peoples. Teach us to be faithful evangelists in word and in action. Lord, you have given us every spiritual and material blessing. Show us how to share our gifts with others, and inspire us always to follow your example of generous self-giving. Gracious Lord, teach us to give with a joyous and grateful heart that we may provide hope, consolation, and pastoral care to your people and thus give glory and honor to your holy name. Amen.In Jesus,
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Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
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...