Reading: Matthew 28:18-20
Verse 19: “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.”
Today’s text contains what is known as the “Great Commission.” It is Jesus’ charge to the disciples to continue the work that he started. As we read or hear these words, the same charge applies to us today. Jesus says to all who believe in him as Lord and Savior: “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.”
These powerful words call us to action, to movement, to going out into the world to witness to and to share the good news of Jesus Christ. At times, as Christians, as we have sought to live out these words, we have forgotten the intent and we have set aside the model that Jesus gave us for living out these words. At times we have sidestepped the Great Commandment – to live God with all that we are and to love neighbor as self – as we have sought to “make disciples.” In many cases we have sought to transform them into our expected image or standard instead of into Jesus’.
When Jesus says, “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” he is calling the disciples and us to live first and foremost. Love does not coerce or manipulate; it does not force or overpower. Love changes hearts and lives through relationship and connection. It changes people into disciples by teaching them kindness, grace, forgiveness, mercy, compassion… As we seek to live out both the great commandment and the great commission, may we hold tightly to both.
Prayer: Lord God, help me to cling to both “greats” each day and with each person I meet. Use me to reflect Christ’s love into the world and into people’s lives. Use me to make disciples even if I do not speak a word. Amen.