May 23, 2019

Making Disciples As We Go

Matthew 28:16-20

“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples...”

—  Matthew 28:18

Before Jesus ascended, he explained the mission that awaited his followers after he returned to his heavenly Father.

“Go and make disciples,” Jesus says. Although this may seem to involve two separate actions—going and making disciples—a better translation of this command is “Make disciples as you go along.” It is assumed that Jesus’ followers will often be “on the go” and actively doing something. And whether they are far away or close to home, their task is to walk alongside others by teaching them about Jesus and by demonstrating, through the work of the church, what it means to serve him.

“Making disciples” does not mean just bringing others to a one-time “moment of decision.” It involves continued learning together, growing together, and increasingly understanding what God has done in sending Jesus to die for our sin and calling us to serve him. All who follow the ascended Jesus share in this task.

Because we serve the Lord of all, we regularly ask ourselves whom God has in mind for us to meet as we go along. We seek to make disciples of our children, our neighbors, our co-workers, our whole world. And when we doubt or struggle in this task, Jesus promises that the authority of heaven will support us in it—always.

How can you carry out this calling as you go along today?

Lord Jesus, we want to hear and follow you. Help us to be your disciples, learning from you, that we may make disciples of others as we go along. Amen.

About the author — Joel Vande Werken

Joel Vande Werken has been a pastor since 2007, serving churches in Sussex, New Jersey, and in Whitinsville, Massachusetts. He and his wife, Brandie, have five young children.

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