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Monday: Making Disciples: The Focus of Mission — 16 Comments

  1. The word "disciple" is used about 260 times in the New Testament. The most common usage of the word in modern times is "follower" but both the Greek word translated as disciple and the Latin root are associated with students and learning. It is useful to retranslate the great commission as:

    Therefore go and make students or learners 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.” Matt 28;19-20

    Maybe it's just my educational background speaking here, but I think of learning as a dynamic process. You do not learn just to gain and certificate, but rather it is the start of a growing process that continues for the rest of your life.

    I sometimes meet some of my students from years ago and it is always interesting to hear what they have learned over the intervening years. I would be very disappointed to hear that after they had finished my classes, they stopped learning.

    It is worth putting that meaning back into the "disciple" word in the Gospel Commission, provided we are modeling that learning experience ourselves. Teaching is not so much about telling students what to do but rather modeling the process of learning.
    So, can I be so bold to make another change to the wording of the Gospel commission:

    Therefore go and make students or learners of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and modeling them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matt 28;19-20

    • Matthew 28:19 has the word therefore in it, so we need to consult the previous verse to understand its use.

      "All power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.", King Jesus in Matthew 28:18.

      Without receiving The Holy Spirit, Matthew 15:14 becomes applicable.

    • During my homeschooling tenure, we often described the parent-teacher as the lead learner, modeling how to learn and how to ask good questions that will engage critical thinking.

      I really like the concept of making learners for the kingdom. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me…” (Matthew 11:29) If we will always be learning of Him in eternity, how much more must we learn of Him now?

    • I think the concept of mentoring captures what you are describing and what Jesus means. There may be different levels at which we engage in the mentoring process;some on a periodic timetable, others who we are deeply engaged in the process on a consistently daily level, depending on the need and situation. It would all have the goal of teaching/instructing another person, by word and example, exhortation/encouragement to grow in maturity as members of the Family of God in their relationship with Christ with the ultimate purpose of them not just being knowledgeable and able to stand in faith on their own, but also enabled to mentor others and thus replicate the process.

    • Your comments Maurice bring to mind these statements by sister White where she likens receiving true education to salvation. “Now, as never before, we need to understand the true science of education. If we fail to understand this, we shall never have a place in the kingdom of God.” “This is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent” (John 17:3. 1MCP 53.2
      “Let all your powers be directed to pointing souls, confused, bewildered, lost, to the ‘Lamb of God.’ Lift Him up, the risen Saviour, and say to all who hear, come to Him who ‘hath loved us, and hath given Himself for us.’ Let the science of salvation be the burden of every sermon, the theme of every song. Let it be poured forth in every supplication.”CET 247.1

  2. Therefore, go and make students of all nation's....modeling them to obey ALL things that I have commanded you.....
    The great question is, what did Jesus command ? Where can we find them?
    Isaiah 8:20
    To the law and to the testimony : if they speak not according to this word, it is because there is no light in them.
    So that is the basis of the gospel. If we neglect one of the two, we will have a one legged gospel. And we need to obey ALL not neglecting some. Let's quit talking and start doing something. The gospel of the kingdom has the law and the writings of the prophets. But we need to understand the gospel also very well otherwise we will run without a message or with a false message. We need to live the message in our lives as a result of the holy Spirit modeling our lives. We need to do a lot of teaching than preaching beginning from " Jerusalem" and move to " Samaria" ....

  3. "...make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you..." Matthew 28:19-20

    Do you know what your mission is on this planet TODAY? Have you looked for the answer? Being exactly who you are, you do have a mission! It does not have to be a mission to bring you glory or make you stand out of the crowd, but it will bless many people surrounding you. You don't think so? But it is true! You have a mission to be who you are right now! Fulfill this mission, "be of good cheer," and do good to those around you! May the love of the Creator strike you for real TODAY so you can share it with your neighbor!

  4. I like to think of the King James Version of the Holy Bible as being the original translation. Unlike most other newer versions and translations, make disciples is not found in the KJV version of Matthew 28:19-20. KJV uses the word "TEACH all nations", and "TEACHING them to obey".

    "Some He gave to be pastors and teachers".

    If we can't teach, we can "teach" by example. We can give our testimony. We can pray that we always have an answer to anyone who asks! {Think of Philip)! We can pass out literature. We can support the church ministry.

    Remember the song from children's Sabbath School, "Brighten the Corner Where You Are".

  5. “The focus of mission“ - “All AUTHORITY in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go THEREFORE and make disciples of ALL nations . . . . “ . Go beyond the borders of Israel and share with the world what God has revealed to His people.

    When I read this passage with the emphasis on the words in capital letters, it impresses me to focus on that the Gospel as revealed by Jesus Christ is the Word of God vested in His Son’s authority and therefore ‘trustworthy’ to be carried to all nations.

    No fault or weakness of any type will be found in His Truth; it is utterly wholesome and perfect for teaching and edification of those who choose to believe it and have their life by it.

    God expands His mission field by increasing the number of His children who live by His Word through faith.

  6. One more comment to our today´s lesson. One verse in John 6:26 makes me think about our role as Christ´s disciples- before going out to teach others:

    Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

    Are we just followers and what motivates us to reach out. Is it because God worked miracles in our lives, secured our jobs, family life and our health. When things start getting complicated in our life, our prospect may change and we would probably loose the full allegiance and full commitment to Jesus.
    In John 6:66,67 we read
    „From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away.“

    So these verses of John 6 give me points to ponder where I am standing as a disciple. Am I making new sets of priorities and responsibilities in my life and in dealing with others and in consecrating to God ALL I have? That‘s the starting point.

  7. Now, I issue a warning from King Jesus :

    "For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ? or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul ?" (Matthew 16:26 KJV)

    Don't be so caught up in the mission that you lose your own soul.

    Also, remember to take care of yourself as well by looking at what He said:
    "...Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." (Matthew 22:39 KJV).

    "...I will have mercy, and not sacrifice..." (Matthew 9:13 KJV)

    Don't feel compelled to put the oxygen masks on the children around you first. Heed the flight attendant's message by putting the oxygen mask on yourself first, because if you don't, you run the risk of passing out and also not being able to put the masks on His children. We need you (and we need them), so take care of yourself on this wonderful mission.

    God bless you 🙏 🤗

  8. The Greek word “mathēteúō’ (from mathetes) is properly translated “make disciples”, according to the CWSB Dictionary:
    “3100. μαθητεύω mathēteúō; fut. mathēteúsō, from mathētḗs (G3101), disciple. As governing a dat., to be a disciple or follower of another's doctrine (Matt. 27:57); governing an acc., to make a disciple (Matt. 28:19; Acts 14:21); to instruct (Matt. 13:52) with the purpose of making a disciple. Mathēteúō must be distinguished from the verb mathéō (n.f.) or manthánō (G3129) which simply mean to learn without any attachment to the teacher who teaches. Mathēteúō means not only to learn, but to become attached to one's teacher and to become his follower in doctrine and conduct of life. It is really not sufficient to translate this verb as "learn" but as "making a disciple," in the NT sense of mathētḗs.”
    (3100,3101, and 3129 are Strong’s Concordance numbers)

    • Agreed Kenny 👍 Thank you 🙏

      We are meant to follow King Jesus in all His ways:
      "Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.", King Jesus in Matthew 4:19 KJV.

      We need to become like Him:
      "It is enough for the disciple to be as his master,...", King Jesus in Matthew 10:25 KJV.

      We are meant to "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.", King Jesus in Matthew 5:48 KJV.

      So that "...I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness." (Psalm 17:15 KJV).


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