Monday, April 22, 2013

Disciple the Nations

Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV) The Great Commission -
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Ahhh, encouraging!! I've studied these verses out and they are well know to many followers of Jesus. I wanted to share something I found interesting about verse 19 because I think often times we feel a pressure to "make disciples" that is unhealthy and we put a larger importance on our part, to "plant and water," instead of trusting God in his part, "to make it grow."

On the Biblios website, the Interlinear bible states verse 19 as:
Πορευθέντες οὖν , μαθητεύσατε πάντα τὰ ἔθνη , βαπτίζοντες αὐτοὺς εἰς τὸ ὄνομα τοῦ πατρὸς , καὶ τοῦ υἱοῦ , καὶ τοῦ ἁγίου πνεύματος ;
The literal translation is "having gone therefore, disciple all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
If you have ever felt defeated because you haven't "made any disciples lately" or felt an un-Spirit lead pressure to make disciples then I want to encourage you. Let us not fall into the American church teaching that can imply that making a disciple consists of only baptizing someone, then done. (and definitely not that it's just helping someone pray Jesus into their heart...which is an incorrect teaching based on a misapplication of scriptures in Eph.) We are called to disciple the help others (a diversity of others) and to teach them to progressively learn the word of God, encourage them to cling to him, to follow him and to mature in Jesus. There is no "point" at which any of us can boast, "I've made a disciple." It's by God's mercy that disciples of Jesus are made and the opportunity we have as followers of Jesus to disciple the nations is a lifelong journey with people!
WE don't open others hearts...God's word does. WE don't make them obey...God's Spirit leads them. So I hope these scriptures will inspire you further...

- be active in sharing your faith (Philemon 6)
- "plant and water" (1 Cor. 3: 1-9)
- baptize those who decide to follow God so that their sins can be forgiven, teach them, and love, love, love them :] yay! (Matthew 28:16-20 & Matthew 22:37-39)  

I hope you find this encouraging and that you get a chance to check out the Biblios website - it's a wealth of resources!

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