This message was preached by Justin Jaykumar at Word of Grace Church on April 17th, 2016. To listen/download the audio please click here. To listen to the Sunday's worship and prophetic contributions please click here
What are you doing on this earth? What are we here for- this question disturbs me.
To make disciples of all nations- that’s what we are here for, as God’s children. These are the last words of the Lord Jesus.
The last words of some famous people- Winston Churchill said I’m bored with it all. Steve Jobs- Oh, wow! No one knows what it means. When Osama bin laden was targeted, his last words- don’t turn the last words. Saddam Hussein said, there is no God, there is no God. Jesus’ last words were not his dying words. They are the words of a resurrected one.
Matt 28:16-20- “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.”
This is the command- to go into all the world and make disciples of all nations. That is the emphasis.
Q. What does it mean to make disciples?
It means urging them to be followers, and become disciples of Jesus. You become an apprentice. You learn his teachings and his lifestyle. We must help them to grow.
3 ways Jesus wants us to make disciples:
· By going- to all the nations. Means going to all kinds of people. Group of people with similar culture and outlook. In our nation there are thousands of people groups. Many times we understand that those who go out of the country are missionaries. But we are all called to be missionaries wherever we are- in our neighbourhoods, workplace, schools and colleges. Stephen and Philip were caterers. But the Bible says that they were men full of wisdom. Stephen was the first martyr who died preaching the gospel. Philip was with a minister from Ethiopia who was reading Isaiah 58. Philip spoke to him as the Holy Spirit revealed the truth to him and shared the gospel. The minister was saved and that became the entry point for the gospel in Ethiopia. We are called to make disciples. We are caterers of the gospel.
How do we make disciples? The best example is to learn from the very person who gave us this command.
Q. How did Jesus make disciples?
§ Jesus went where people were and invited them to follow them. Mark 2: 14- “As he walked along, he saw Levi son of Alphaeus sitting at the tax collector’s booth. “Follow me,” Jesus told him, and Levi got up and followed him.” Matt 4: 18 “As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will send you out to fish for people.”” Jesus went to them and called them.
§ Jesus not only invited them, but did it with a purpose. Come follow me, he said and I will make you fishers of men. Jesus had an encounter with Peter and the very presence of Jesus made peter realise how sinful he was. His very presence was changing people.
§ He allowed people to get into his life: In John 1:39, 2 of John’s disciples were following Jesus. They said, “Rabbi, where are staying? Jesus said, come and see.” Come into my life. He allowed people to get into his life. We make disciples by allowing them to see into our lives.
§ By being gentle and caring: 1 Thess 2:11-12- gentle and caring. That is how they made disciples. Like a father encouraging, comforting and urging. We need to take the step of launching out and caring, urging, encouraging... no flattery or deceit.
§ They presented a clear claim of Jesus. Jesus makes it very clear about what it means to follow him. Luke 9: 23 Jesus says- “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me.” There is a cost of discipleship. Making disciples is a command.
· Baptising- It is the immersing in water, a declaration that we belong to Jesus. When peter gave his first sermon, 3000 people believed, were baptised and were added to the church. Identifying with God and God’s people is very important in making disciples.
· Teaching them to obey all that was commanded. It is a very important part of making disciples. We are to teach the whole truth to people who want to follow Jesus. In Acts 2:42 we see that the early church met together, broke bread together, listened to the Apostle’s teaching. Disciple is a person who will obey.
If we believe in Jesus, our sole purpose is to make disciples. We do that by going into the lives of people and allowing them to come into our lives, presenting a clear gospel. Because all authority in heaven and earth was given to Jesus, we can go into the world and make disciples. All the nations belong to Jesus and we are called to go to the nations in his authority.
We are not alone. Jesus promises to be with us to the end of the age. When we are sent, the presence of God is with us- to be filled with power and to be witness. Let us trust God for making disciples.
Word of Grace is an Evangelical (Born Again), Spirit filled (Charismatic), Reformed, English speaking in Pune that upholds the Bible as God's inspired Word for life. We are a church community that have people from every part of India and parts of the world. We are here to put the Great Command and the into practice by equipping and releasing every member into works of service. To know about us please log onto www.wordofgracechurch.org.