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On being Faithful and being Disciples

On being Faithful and being Disciples

In Matthew 28:18-20, the words of Jesus to his disciples commonly referred to as the “Great Commission” are recorded as follows,

       “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, 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.” [1]

These final words had a curious meaning to the first century disciples, just as they would in some parts of the world today. In several cultures including many African contexts, the words of a dying person are usually taken very seriously. When dad was in his final phase of life last month, we all gathered around him to hear his final wishes. Dad told us many things, but one profound theme was that we are to love each other at all times. He told us that only a family bound by love can be able to stand during hard moments. When a loved one utters those final words, those to whom these words are uttered go to great extents trying to fulfill the final wishes of the departed.

The words of Matthew 28 were not the final words before Jesus died, but they were his final wishes pertaining his earthly ministry before his ascension. He commissioned the disciples to make more disciples. In fact, he asks his followers to make disciples not for themselves but for him.[2] In other words, these disciples were never going to graduate from the discipleship school. They would forever be disciples, his disciples. They were not to start teaching their own doctrines but rather only those doctrines from their master.

Making disciples for Jesus is a significant command given to all who love the Lord. There is no Christianity without the making of disciples. Some people answer the call of God by going to far-away lands as missionaries, yet for others it may mean going a few meters to ones’ next-door neighbor to share the gospel. It was therefore not so much about the distance as it was about venturing to other areas away from one’s comfort zone.

To make a disciple may also take different directions. Some share the gospel by preaching, others by teaching, others by their actions like visiting a sick friend, or sharing our possessions with the poor. Whatever it is for you, desire to move in obedience this month. Be a faithful follower of Christ and share his love with someone else. This is a part of what it means to be a disciple. Have a faithful month.

Rev. Susan Murithi

 

[1] New International Version Bible

[2]Craig S. Keener, The IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, 125.

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