Matthew 28:19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, ….”
A hog and a hen sharing the same barnyard heard about a church’s program to feed the hungry. The hog and the hen discussed how they could help. The hen said, “I’ve got it! We’ll provide bacon and eggs for the church to feed the hungry.” The hog thought about the suggestion and said, “There’s one problem with your bacon and eggs solution. For you, it only requires a contribution, but from me, it will mean total commitment!” That’s the cost of true discipleship! A rather light hearted illustration, but it gets the point across! We are called to make disciples- to multiply ourselves- that WILL cost us everything!
I heard a good quote once on making disciples and how it is really about “doing life” together and taking someone under our wing and showing them Christ.. and when necessary, using words!
How do we make disciples?
We see the example of Jesus, teaching His disciples. He not only showed them His character and truth by what He did and said, but also by teaching them from His Word. If we want to make disciples, we must first become disciples and take 2 Timothy 2:15 to heart- “Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth”. We must obviously know truth before we can teach it to others; not perfectly, but at least an understanding of how to share foundational truths from the Word.
In general, people do not enjoy correction. But, as I’ve heard people say, it is all about the way in which it is approached. In life and learning, there will be correction. But, a godly person who is making disciples will be humble in that correction and always point the other person to Jesus and truth of Scripture. The correction of a worldly way of thinking should always be pointed back to the new creation we are in Christ and then allow the Holy Spirit to apply that to the person’s heart and mind.
Jesus didn’t just command His disciples to teach people, but to teach them to obey. This means that we all, the teachers and those they are discipling, have the goal of transformation of lives, not just outward conformity. That means that there will be some vulnerability; all areas of our life will be on display. All will need to draw near to God and follow the example He has left us “For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.”
Making disciples should be an act of love; love for people and our great love for Jesus. We are called, in Colossians 3:16 to “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.” Our goal in discipleship is to help one another with how we shall live now, with the final day quickly approaching (Heb. 10:24-25).
Discipleship will cost us everything, as the pig clearly saw in our opening, funny illustration. But, would you rather just contribute or be fully committed?