Today we concluded our study of Matthew (Part 2) with a focus on 28:16-20. Before His ascension, Jesus issued what has come to be called The Great Commission. When Jesus spoke these words directly to His disciples, and indirectly to us, He was giving the church her marching orders. The disciples took the Lord’s command seriously. They went into the world and shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Their witness was so effective that their critics accused them of “turning the world upside down” – Acts 17:6.
Is it possible to be a saved child of God and not be a disciple (follower) of Christ? Yes, we can live a godly life with the assurance of heaven as our ultimate destiny but miss the process of maturing as a disciple of Jesus. Being a disciple involves becoming a learner, a student of the Master. It means developing an ongoing relationship with Jesus through prayer and study – making His priorities, His agenda, and His mission our priorities, our agenda, and our mission. There is a cost associated with doing this which is why many back away from discipleship.
The eleven men that Jesus spoke to on a mountaintop about discipleship were ordinary people like us. It was Jesus’ plan to use them to lay a foundation for His church and the rest is history. Jesus still needs disciples to carry on the work which He and those eleven men started. The first step is submission, a willingness to choose what Jesus wants over what we want. After that, it’s learning how to get out of His way and allow Him to live His life through us.
Please note that next Sunday, June 4, we will begin our study of the Book of Psalms as we consider Psalm 1:1-6. This passage shows us that God allows us to choose the path on which we will walk in this life.