Quote of the Week

The Great Commission

Matthew 28:18-20 NIV
18) Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19) 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,
20) and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

I used to think of the Great Commission as work, and not easy work. The word commission conjures up images of a commander passing you orders, which you have no choice but to accept. Hard work that you did not even have a say in. When we put aside our religious notions and look at this passage in proper context, we start to see that maybe this was not a Great Commission at all. It is more like the natural outflow of the faith of the disciples. Jesus was not ordering. Instead he was saying this is what you do with the faith you have. He was teaching, which is vastly different than ordering.

Somehow I had in my mind that the Great Commission was preaching the death and resurrection of Jesus to people, but on closer examination I see that is not what Jesus says here.

He tells the disciples, which are people he has relationship with. Most people I know going around proclaiming the Gospel do not know Jesus from Pat Robertson. If you do not know Jesus how can you expect to convince anyone of his message?

He tells them to make disciples. Disciples do not equal converts. Disciples follow Jesus. Disciples give up their jobs, family, and dreams to pick up a cross. We need to preach that to follow Jesus means to die, and not just denying ourselves chocolate during one week out of the year. I am talking about having a life long dream, career, or relationships that upon meeting Jesus you just abandon to follow him.

There is no formula to follow here, no sinners prayer that can magically assure you of an eternity in Heaven. Instead you first must hear Jesus' voice calling you to follow him. In order to hear his voice you might have to slow down a little and notice the people around you. He speaks through them, most of the time. I cannot give you a prescription to follow here. You have to first hear the call and then decide to respond or not.

If you decide to respond Jesus will let you know what to do after that.

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