Jesus' Mission - Making Disciples
Recently, I had a conversation with my boys at bedtime about Jesus' mission - and of course I was struck by the fact that these four young men are who I'm called to first, if I'm going to follow Jesus' on His mission. This has me thinking a lot about how Jesus did what He did, how He lived, how He connected with and loved people, how He made disciples. Pretty incredible to think that one man could live in such a way that today - two thousand years later - over a billion people would be considered his followers.
Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:18-20 and Acts 1:8 compel us to “go out into all the world and make disciples,” as we are His witnesses “to the remotest parts of the earth.” Jesus is “on mission” to glorify Himself by seeking and saving the lost, making disciples and drawing a people to Himself for all eternity, through the local church, worldwide. Jesus’ divine mission is our mission.
At the very center of this mission is The Gospel. Jesus Christ crucified and risen for the redemption of our sin and transformation of our lives – for His Kingdom purposes, to the glory of His name. For the Christ follower, the good news of the Gospel is the motivation for everything we do - to change us from within, and to have an influence on our culture.
The Gospel of Christ - lived out daily, in the power of the Holy Spirit, and demonstrated in tangible ways... Pastor and author Tim Keller says that "Belief in the gospel is not just the way to enter the kingdom of God; it is the way to address every obstacle and grow in every aspect. The gospel is not just the 'ABCs' but the 'A-to-Z' of the Christian life." (Tim Keller, Center Church)
As we increasingly take on the posture and heart of a missionary in our culture, our prayer is that this mission begins to more intentionally influence everything we think, feel and do – empowered by the Spirit. The purpose has always been what we find at the core of the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20) – making and multiplying disciples who are following Jesus, being transformed by Him, and joining Him on His mission.
How Did Jesus Make Disciples?
If we're going to join Jesus on His mission of making disciples, it makes a lot of sense to imitate his methods: relationships grounded in truth and love. As author Jim Putman says:
"Jesus is the greatest disciple maker in history, and His way works. Discipleship is the emphasis. Relationships are the method. Jesus invited people into relationships with Himself; He loved them and in the process showed them how to follow God. His primary method was life-on-life.” (Jim Putman, Discipleshift)
I'm starting with my four boys - and then thinking about how I might apply Jesus' life-on-life methods in other contexts, as well. How might the Holy Spirit be speaking to you as you consider your part in His mission?