Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
The commission given to the disciples by Jesus in Matthew 28 is not that complicated. He doesn’t ask them to fill out an application and turn in reference letters. There is no PowerPoint presentation, no dress code, and no time limit or deadline given. He certainly didn’t tell them to look for the trends or to study the algorithms to find the perfect formula that would produce a 100% acceptance rate. They didn’t even have the Bible as we know it yet. Jesus left them with amazing real life encounters, four verbs, (go, make, baptize and teach) and a promise to be with them “always, even to the end of the age.” It was beautifully straightforward and wonderfully inspiring; however, somewhere over the course of the last few thousand years we seem to have made this commission complicated.
As a busy woman living in the 21st Century everything always seems to be more difficult than it needs to be. Have you ever created a wedding or baby registry? So many items…so many options…and so many Amazon reviews! Something that was intended to make our lives easier has turned into a time-consuming, stressful event! Ever dealt with an insurance company? Do you have an HOA? I think you see where I’m going with this…so much of what we deal with on a daily basis is complicated, but the Great Commission doesn’t have to be.
Remember, all Jesus is telling us to do is “go, make, baptize and teach.” He’s not saying, “quit your job and become a pastor.” While our pastors do an amazing job teaching, encouraging and equipping the people, it is not their job to disciple every person on the planet. He’s also not saying you have to be a full-time missionary or cross an ocean.
Defined simply, a disciple is “a person who accepts and helps to spread the teachings of another.” Have you accepted Jesus as your Lord and Savior? Do you help spread his teachings to others in your life? We are his disciples and we are called to disciple others.
The great thing about discipleship is that it usually happens one on one or in small settings and in the simplest ways. If you have little ones at home…go to them and teach them about Jesus often. At the grocery store, at work, on the ball field or in the dance studio have meaningful conversations, be the light, be encouraging, be kind, use your influence to spark a curiosity. A simple invite to church can turn into a deep conversation about who Jesus is and what He did for us all. Before you know it, this simple ask can lead to a new disciple of Jesus!
This quote from Andy Stanley encourages me when I start to feel like I’m not doing enough, just plain can’t do enough or that what I’m doing will never be enough because I’m unable to “go into all the nations.”
“Your greatest contribution to the Kingdom of God may not be something you do but someone you raise.”
And might I add, “or someone you disciple.”
Exhale all of life’s complications… Inhale the simplicity of The Great Commission
Lord, sometimes we over-complicate life and sometimes it’s already over-complicated for us. I pray that when it comes to reaching the lost that we would remember it was never meant to be complicated. I pray that we would all look for opportunities in our lives to disciple those around us and that we would remember that one conversation could be the beginning of a changed life for you. Amen.
Today’s post was written by Amanda Sanders.
Amanda has been married to her high school sweet heart Matt for 11 years. Together they have three kids ages 8, 7 and 3. In this season of life, Amanda spends most of her time drinking coffee, teaching children, doing laundry and repeating herself. Occasionally, she has some time for working out, reading for leisure and writing. You can find her on Sunday mornings worshiping at our Real Life UCF campus.