Yesterday, we looked at how a follower of Jesus Christ is a learner. They listen to what He says and seriously consider His words of wisdom and direction. But it doesn’t stop there.
A disciple of Jesus Christ is also a doer. They hear what God says and then obey His commands. Jesus made it clear to His followers that obeying Him was a vital part of being a disciple.
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ Amen.” Matthew 28:18-20
Before Jesus said anything about the process of discipleship, He pointed them to the power of discipleship: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” We can be as busy as we want to be in the process of following Jesus Christ, but our efforts are nothing without His Power. Jesus has ALL authority in Heaven and earth. The Greek word is exousia and means “the right to act, the power to act, permission to act, freedom of action.” The idea here is that Jesus Christ has the right and the might to do as He pleases. Jesus has the authority to do whatever He wants to do and receive from His followers anything He wants. What does Jesus want us to do? “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.” Jesus wants us to go in His authority and disciple people from every nation. How do we disciple people? We teach them to observe everything He’s commanded us.
Did you see what Jesus wants us to become? Teachers! “Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” A disciple is one who knows based on learning and obedience. Jesus did not say, “Teaching them to observe all things that I have asked you to do.” He said “Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.” A teacher is one who has obeyed the commands of their Lord and Savior and instructs others to do the same.
Jesus wants us to first follow Him in complete obedience, then teach others how to follow Him in complete obedience.
- Jesus leads — we follow.
- Jesus teaches — we learn.
- Jesus commands — we obey.
- Jesus gives us His authority to disciple nations — we teach others how to follow and obey Him.
So simple, yet so complex. The idea is magnificently simple, but it takes a lifetime of devotion and obedience to complete the task. Are you up for the challenge? I can’t think of anything better to do with our lives than to trust and obey Jesus Christ.