“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 be everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:19-20).
Trying to fill the Great Commission on our own is like telling a five-year-old to go in the backyard and make a Corvette with whatever scrap metal he can find. It won’t happen. You may get a creative product of his imagination, but you will never get a Corvette. The same is true of those who try to make disciples using their own strength. The task is out of our league, and Jesus knew it. That is why he didn’t send us out alone.
The process for making disciples is found on both sides of Jesus’ instruction, often called the Great Commission. These verses create a disciple-making sandwich, surrounding us with the necessary components to fulfill this calling.
Jesus provided us with the authority to embark on a journey. Our confidence rests in realizing who has commissioned us to go. Jesus said that God has given us all authority. This is a license to be a disciple-maker. With God’s endorsement, the pressure to perform on our own is lifted.
Jesus then offered the comforting phrase, “I am with you always.” Jesus doesn’t give us authority to make disciples then leave us to flounder on our own. He tells us He will be with us every moment, guiding, instructing, teaching. Jesus is ever-present. Our challenge is to walk in God’s nearness. Our responsiveness to the Spirit of God will determine the level to which we we are able to connect with His calling.
There are two questions to guide our daily journey: “Am I relying fully on the authority I have in Christ?” And, “Am I allowing Jesus to genuinely be with me always?” These questions point to the two truths wrapped around God’s disciple-making charge. The authority of Christ provides license to move ahead while the nearness of Christ offer a strength on which we can lean.
Read Matthew 9:36-38. Look at your relationships. Is there anyone you’re investing your life into, encouraging them to be disciples of Jesus? If not, ask God to bring someone across your path.
God, You offer me an invitation to join Your Kingdom, building disciples of You. Help me to see that it is not in my own strength but in Yours that I can answer this call.