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.” Matthew 28:16-20
Yesterday, we dove into how the Great Commission instructs us to be disciple makers. While we are to be disciples (dedicated students and ardent followers), we must also lead others into this type of relationship with God. We shared that being a disciple and a disciple maker are long pursuits, a process and not a destination or a title. Today we will look at why Jesus gave us the commission, what is the goal?
Have you ever wondered why Jesus gave us this command, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…” Why was that important to Him? Recall that Jesus said “ I tell you the truth, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.” (John 14:12). Jesus commanded and expected that His work of glorifying the Father would continue after He went to the Father. In order for that to happen He needed commissioned ardent followers, students who ventured on the long pursuit, in other words Kingdom Men! In order to do that we must first be trained, disciplined and discipled. Jesus wants us to be mature disciples. He trains and disciplines us through His love, not His wrath (Hebrews 12:10-12).
Our Creed echoes Christ’s goal: “I am a Kingdom Man, with a Kingdom vision. Commissioned by Christ. My life is the Father’s. I am intentional.” This means we whole-heartedly accept His command and His commission. We are excited about it and train and study as we carry it out.
A few years ago I attended a military promotion ceremony. This was a base wide assembly recognizing our enlisted members as they promoted through the ranks. In the military, Sergeants are also known as Non-commissioned officers (NCOs). Becoming an NCO is a big deal. It means the military and the individuals leadership has confidence in their technical abilities and see potential in their ability to lead their peers and subordinates. It’s a big deal, an honor and a privilege. At this particular ceremony, two members were being promoted into the NCO corps. The promotion is accepted and affirmed by the members accepting the NCO Charge. At the end of the charge, the new NCOs respond with a loud “I WILL!” However at the conclusion of this particular Charge, the “I WILL” from these two new NCOs was b”arely audible, to say it was mumbled would be a compliment. It was said with indifference, “Will you accept this Charge?” Mheh…Sure I guess… The Chief Master Sergeant stopped the ceremony and asked them again, similar response. Then he told them, this wasn’t about their testing, or their scores or the pay increase, this is about the mission and the people. If they can’t see that, he would rather them not accept it.
Daily Battle Order:
Jesus gave us a similar but even more important Charge. He gave us a Command and a Commission. He did it because it was important for His Kingdom’s work. He wants us to join in and play a part. He left it to us because he emphatically wants us to continue the work he began and due it even greater than He did. Yes, have a greater impact than Jesus. But we must sound-off when we respond. We must be engaged. There is no room for “Mheh, sure I guess”. We are intentional! We are ardent followers and dedicated students! We have the Kingdom’s vision, it drives our own: Love God, Love People, Glorify the Father in all things!
So today ask the Father to give you clarity to understand His goal. With that clarity you will be able to ward off the pitfalls we will discuss tomorrow that finds us saying “Mheh, I guess so” instead of a resounding “I WILL!”