Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, 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.”
I like how Jesus gives some explanation before he gives these marching orders. Jesus has all authority here and everywhere. There is no one else to check in with, no one able to rescind his orders, no one above his “pay grade” to go over his head to about this. Jesus has the final say in all things and THIS is what he wants us to do: Make disciples. And to top it all off, he closes with a huge helping of reassurance that he never ever will leave us alone. Great passage of scripture!
The interesting part is the orders he gives us. I know that Believers tend to add invented pressure that in addition to sharing we are also responsible for the response of those with whom we are sharing. But that is not the case. We are called simply to share and teach, and teaching “these new disciples to obey” means to be an example of an obedient disciple as well. But as far as forcing someone to admit their need for Jesus and to ask forgiveness for their sins, Jesus didn’t include that in his instructions.
I don’t want the Enemy to use unresponsive listeners in my path as a reason for me to give up sharing for a seeming lack of results. Satan would love that. But Jesus just wants me to share so that people will know they have options. If Believers fail to share the option of Jesus’ invitation for forgiveness and eternal life, people will never know it’s available for them. Whether I witness their acceptance of that option is inconsequential. I do, however, wish to be instrumental in leading others to Believe.
Have you ever talked to someone with an unresponsive heart? It’s awful. You get nowhere. But God has done this according to Ezekiel 36:26-27: And I will give you a new heart, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony, stubborn heart and give you a tender, responsive heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so that you will follow my decrees and be careful to obey my regulations.
When we Believe, we get a new heart - one that responds. Furthermore, we get God’s Holy Spirit who teaches and reminds us of everything Jesus said and taught according to John 14:26.
How imperative it is then to share the Good News of Jesus Christ! If people don’t hear they won’t know. And if they don’t know they can’t Believe. And if they don’t Believe they can’t respond. Jesus needs us simply to do what he has asked of us.
Dear Lord Jesus,
Help me to respond to your instructions with better sincerity and urgency. I appreciate all you’ve done for me and I truly do want it for others. Please give me opportunities to share with unbelievers and to encourage new ones. I love you and I thank you for all of these wonderful and true things associated with following you. You are great and greatly to be praised and I pray in your name, amen.