After his resurrection, at the very end of the gospel (Matt. 28:16-20), Jesus tells his disciples to "make disciples" by going, baptizing, and teaching people to obey everything he commanded. Last week, I commented on what Jesus meant by his commands. But in this sermon, I discussed how and why we should make disciples.
There are two things to notice. First, Jesus begins by telling his disciples (and those of us overhearing this conversation) that he has "all authority in heaven and on earth." He has the same authority that God has, to direct and offer commands and instructions. And yet, God's (and his) authority is always relational--while he commands, he also equips and resources his people with everything they need to accomplish his commands.
Second, Jesus closes his statement by promising to be with them (and us) to the very end of the age. He guarantees his own presence with us while we go about this disciple making process.
And how do we make disciples? We 1) go; 2) baptize; and 3) teach. In this sermon, I explain how these three ideas fit together to suggest that we ought to be actively trying to influence those we are already around. I also encourage us to get on board with Jesus' mission, which can often be quite different than what the church presents as its mission.
Sermon: On Making Disciples