Over the last four weeks we have seen the characteristics of a disciple. Now we see the work of a Disciple. As you probably have heard the old preacher’s question, “What in heaven’s name are you doing here on earth?” Jesus was pretty clear as to what His disciples should be doing.
Matthew 28:18-20 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
There are a couple of significant things in this text; 1) the source of Jesus’ Authority as He gives the commands, 2) the Commands themselves which are really one complex command.
1) Jesus’ says first that “All authority” has been given to Him in heaven and in earth. But His authority was not given to Him in such a way that He had not had it previously. We see the Apostle Paul encourage the Philippians to be humble as Christ was, and this is what he tells them; Philippians 2:5-11 “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
We too, as Christians, are supposed to humble ourselves. He, being God Himself, was able to humble Himself to the nth degree for our benefit. As a result of His humiliation from absolute Deity to the death of the Cross, He was in turn, “Highly Exalted.”
John 17:1-5 “Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, 2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him. 3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent. 4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. 5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” As we see here, His glory was simply restored. So the absolute authority of Jesus Christ rests in His absolute Deity. It also rests in His absolute obedience to the Will of the Father in His humiliation and willing sacrifice for sin. Based upon His Person and His Work He has the right to command us.
2) What is that command? Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you;” Here we see a complex command. It is made up of four different verbs, Go, Make Disciples, Baptize and Teach. For the details on the grammatical construction you’ll have to listen to the audio, but we learn from them that the main verb here is Make Disciples. The others support or modify that one so that a Disciple Maker is “Going, ” “Baptizing,” and “Teaching.”
If you are a “disciple” then you too are involved in this process. It is your job to be sharing the Gospel and bringing others into the fold. They should be baptized and taught to obey the commands of Christ. You may not do it all, certainly baptism is to be performed by the elders, but teaching and leading others to maturity is the job of all Christians.
Titus 2:3-5 the older women likewise, that they be reverent in behavior, not slanderers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things– 4 that they admonish the young women to love their husbands, to love their children, 5 to be discreet, chaste, homemakers, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be blasphemed.
2 Timothy 2:2 And the things that you have heard from me among many witnesses, commit these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.
We are all to be “going.” If we are disciples then we are to be making disciples. It goes with the territory. Hebrews 3:1-2 “Therefore, holy brethren, partakers of the heavenly calling, consider the Apostle and High Priest of our confession, Christ Jesus, 2 who was faithful to Him who appointed Him…” Aren’t you glad that He was faithful to the One who sent Him? Now He has sent you, how are you doing?
Audio of this message is available by clicking on the link below
Following Jesus Pt. 5 (Making Disciples)