By Published On: October 20th, 2022Categories: Leader Blog, Meditation for Preparation0 Comments

Why do we “Make Disciples?” It started, in a sense, with the Great Commission given by Jesus shortly before He returned to Heaven:

Now the eleven disciples [the original apostles, before Paul] went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” — Matthew 28:16-20 (ESV)

A Disciple is defined as a learner or a follower; someone who wants to imitate and obey Jesus.  So, the first answer to the question “Why” is that Jesus told His disciples to do so. 

Prayer. Jesus, thank you for equipping the apostles, revealing your authority over all, and charging them to go and make other disciples so that many others, including me, would come to know You.

Why Us?

But Jesus was only telling the initial apostles to make disciples. So why does anyone else need to make disciples? We are given a clue in the Great Commission when Jesus says to teach the new disciples “to observe all that I have commanded you.” One of these commands was the Great Commission itself. So if the apostles are effective at making a disciple for Jesus, then that disciple in turn will also seek to obey Jesus and make disciples. 

Paul picks up on this theme in 2 Timothy 2:2 when he commissions Timothy, who had probably never known Jesus personally, to train others in the ways of Jesus so they would also go and teach others. Disciple-making is intrinsic to disciple-being. 

Nerd Note: In Math and Computer Science, this is called recursion. This means that a procedure to accomplish a task points to another procedure to do the same thing. In the same way, disciples of Jesus make other disciples of Jesus.

Prayer. Dear Father, I don’t always feel ready to teach others. I wish sometimes I was like one of the early apostles who saw You and lived with You for years. But I thank You that Your promise to be with Your disciples is true for me as well no matter where I go. Please help me remember that Your power is applied when I am helping others learn about You. 

Why is it a good thing? 

Sure, we may believe Jesus told us to make disciples, but are we really convinced we’re doing something good when we work to help someone see and know Him?

…in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation. Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 2 Corinthians 5:19-20

God is the maker of Heaven and Earth and the most valuable person in the universe. He loves every person in the whole world and wants a relationship with them all. Disciple-making is relationship restoration work (2 Corinthians 5:11-21).

Prayer. Father, you’ve given us the ministry of reconciliation. Help me be a peacemaker who brings people to you — those who are distant from You but don’t know how to come close.

Why do we think it will work?

But, even if we believe it’s work God wants us to do, how do we know it will even work? Why would we think the disciples we make will “stick” and endure to the end?

[Jesus said,] You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (John 15:16)

Jesus promises that the work He does through us, including  the fruit we bear, will endure. He doesn’t make fruit that rots, but instead, He makes apples of gold.

Prayer. Holy Spirit, I trust that the Father sent You, and You are working through me to enable me to bear everlasting fruit for Jesus. Help me keep in step with You, depending on you with boldness and going with You in obedience.

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash