When a person comes to the end of his life he is going to be selective with his last words. He will only say what he feels is most important; those will be the words remembered by everyone who hears them.
Knowing the importance and significance of a person’s last words helps us to understand the importance of Jesus’ final words:
. . . Go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always even to the end of the age. 1
My guess is that you know about Jesus. If not, here’s a little info about him:
- he came here to earth
- lived for 33 years
- performed three years of ministry
- those three years of ministry was focused on 12 common men
- he left his followers with one command.
That command is Matt 28:19-20 (I always use the NLT version, read why here) which you read above. The most important element of those 33 years Jesus spent on earth were the three years he spent traveling, doing ministry, and teaching a select group of 12 disciples. They were 12 ordinary men who Jesus selected to be the main recipients of his teaching and to have the fullest knowledge about who he was. And, when it was time for Jesus to ascend into heaven, these were the men he gave the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19-20) to. Why would Jesus want to only do ministry for three years to a select group of 12 guys, then leave them and tell them to go and make disciples among others?
Jesus left and commanded the 12 guys to go and make disciples because he knew that the only way to grow common people into mature disciples was to have a core group of 12 men who knew him and his mission. 2
Because of Jesus’ example and his teaching to us, it is imparitive that we disciple others. I am in the process of discipling a young man and I look forward to sharing more with you in the next two weeks about not just the requirement to disciple others, but also how to disciple others.
Question: Are you discipling someone? Why or why not?
- Matthew 28:19-20 NLT ↩
- Greg Ogden, Transforming Discipleship: Making Disciples a Few at a Time (Downers Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2003), 65 ↩