March 27, 2012
Today’s Text: Matthew 28:18-20
Today’s Key Thought: What’s the main thing? Making disciples!
The imperative or command verb in Matthew 28:19 is the verb translated “teach” which comes from the Greek word transliterated “mathatusate” which literally means “make disciples”. Let me say it more simply: The command here is to make disciples while the words “baptizing” and “teaching” after that are the results of what “making disciples” looks like.
Let’s think very carefully about what it means to make a disciple. The word disciple means “learner” or “follower”. Remember who Jesus is talking to in this verse. Say it with me class: “The disciples!” What had Jesus just spent 3 years doing with them? He taught them what to do verbally. He showed them what to do visibly. He sent them to do what He had taught and watched them do it. He had empowered the whole process with His finished work on the cross to pay for the sin of the whole world. He had promised that He would send the Holy Spirit to be a part of this process.
So Jesus had very clearly illustrated and taught what he meant when he said make disciples. We help people that are not following Jesus to follow Him. To do this they must first turn from their sin to Jesus for forgiveness. This is the most important decision anyone can ever make. Jesus called this being “born again.” This is the critical and beginning part of making disciples.
According to the Bible, what happens to someone if they do not ask for forgiveness for their sin? Forgiveness is available. People just need to know that it is offered. We must be the ones to share this news with the world!