For the last six and a half years I have worked to publish articles that challenge and encourage those who seek to follow Jesus. I have published 67 articles in that time. Some of those articles have been pretty lame, but I believe some of them have been worthwhile.
A large part of my hope was to stimulate conversation with my writings. I have invited comments several times in the articles that I have written. There have been 2,877 visits to my blog, from a variety of locations in the United States, Europe, Asia and I believe I remember a couple from Australia. In all of this time there have only been 11 comments. Therefore, my focus is changing.
In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus says;
All authority hath been given unto me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit: teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
These are the words of the Risen Christ. He had utterly triumphed, overcoming sin and the grave and was therefore absolutely worthy to say, “All authority has been given to me.”
It is always important that we read what is written carefully!
This command was given to the 11 disciples that were left. (ref. verse 16) It is pretty common to hear messages about the great commission preached to the whole church. This is a common practice that may be in error. As I have studied the Gospels over the years I have noticed that Jesus spoke to the multitude in parables but to his disciples he spoke plainly (Mark 4:11-12). The disciples had demonstrated a willingness and even a desire to sacrifice in order to follow Jesus. Today the only person who comes to a Bible study, having read and studied the Scripture (if indeed they are studying the Scripture), is the Paid pastor.
Jesus’ command was to disciples who had sacrificed to be with him and to learn what it was that he desired of them. His command was that as they were going they should make other disciples, baptizing them and teaching them to observe all things whatsoever he had commanded them. His promise that went with the command is that he would be with them even to the end of the world.
Most of the churches that I have been associated with are pretty strong on, “baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.” I have only seen one that takes the making disciples part very seriously. I have looked at some of the material that is used to do this part and it is loaded with assurance of salvation and responsibilities of church membership. But really light on, “teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you.”
Over the last several years I have been very interested in this idea of discipleship; what it means and how to accomplish it. In all of this time I have experienced some of what I would call success in becoming Jesus’ disciple. I have been working during this time at creating a study guide to help others experience success as well. That is the primary reason that I have not published anything on this blog in the last month. The first 2 sections of this study are nearly complete and I have received some positive feedback from some who are using the first part.
Since I have received some positive feedback from the discipleship study and because I believe that this is where my primary focus should be, I suspect that my posts to this blog may be even less regular.
If this is a disappointment for you, if you find my articles helpful, punch the comment button and let me know. I will prayerfully consider your concerns.