I’ve been thinking a whole lot about discipleship since returning from Turkey.
As I read through the scriptures and read the biographies of those heroes of the faith who we esteem I am haunted by the suspicion that perhaps we are missing something.
I’ve read again and again that passage we call the Great Commission and will share it here:
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.
A few observations:
First, I am always stunned by the admission that some doubted.
Jesus is alive and some doubted. Out of the very men who walked with Jesus for three years and watched his crucifixion and then got to witness the resurrection – some doubted.
It seems pretty clear that God can handle a little doubt.
Second, Jesus gives them the command to go and make disciples and then a second part to that command – teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.
Okay. So going and making disciples is no longer optional. Jesus commanded it.
Third, Jesus didn’t say, “Go and make converts.” “Go and get people to say the sinners prayer.” “Go and invite people to your church.”
He said, “Go and make disciples.”
So now I am left to wrestle with that. Am I making disciples? And what does that mean?
I am still working through what exactly that means, reading the scriptures and praying and trying not to rationalize my way out of hard answers.
But it is not optional.