This is one of those passages that makes me think, ‘what could I (a humble Circuit Steward and trainee Local Preacher) possibly add to all the commentaries that have been written over the years?’ But then I guess I’m doing God an injustice.
I cannot get away from two words in this passage: “Make disciples” (v19). The call of every Christian, every disciple of Jesus Christ is not just to ‘go’ but to “Go and make disciples of all nations”. So what does it mean to ‘make disciples’? In response I think of another question, not ‘What would…’ but ‘What did Jesus do?’. In Matthew 4: 18-22 we read about Jesus’ call to “Come, follow me”, and in response Simon, Andrew, James and John “immediately” dropped everything to follow Jesus; the sacrifice was immense, they turned away from everything and followed Him. But there was something about this Man, that made them respond in this way; whether they had heard about Him, heard His preaching or seen His healing power, we can only presume.
In their discipleship, Jesus taught them, prayed with them, showed them so much for such a time as this in today’s passage, where Jesus hands on the baton before He ascends to the right-hand of the Father. He passes on the responsibility to His disciples for them to invite, teach and nurture people into a relationship with God. To those 12 disciples there was something different, something inviting about Jesus that made them follow Him in the first place. Do we make the Christian life inviting? Do we invite friends and family to know more about Jesus? Or do we tend to let things cloud us from the truth of God’s saving grace through Jesus? We have a tremendous message of love, grace, mercy and forgiveness to share with “all nations”. Will you ‘go’ and share it in the knowledge that He is with you always?
Lord, help me in my sharing of Your message of love and grace to all, that they too may become Your disciples and know Your forgiveness.
by James Patterson
Cleveland & Danby Circuit
Local Preacher on Trial & Circuit Steward