“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.” —Matthew 28:19 (NKJV)
It’s known as The Great Commission — (Matthew 28:16-20).
It’s the call on all of us if we follow Christ. We are to be disciples, and then we are to go make disciples of all nations. I always thought that was the way of it, that I had to get my discipleship down perfectly before I could hope to mentor anyone else into an understanding of who Christ is.
The Hebrew word for discipleship is limmud, meaning: (adj.) accustomed, taught.
The Greek word for discipleship is mathétés, meaning: (n.) a learner, pupil, apprentice.
Here’s what we see in these words: The Greek is a noun here, signifying something that is in process. The Hebrew is a adjective, signifying something that has already occurred before the descriptive label can be attached. I find that fascinating! In the Greek, a Disciple is a learner (present tense, noun) and in Hebrew, a Disciple has already been taught (past tense, adjective).
Christ is telling us to Go here, but to do it while we’re still learning.
That’s a hefty job description, right? To be honest, the thought of “Go and make” anything without mess-ups absolutely terrifies me. But the Greek view of this commission is incredible. A learner, pupil, and apprentice is just that: Someone who has absolute passion for the job, but they don’t have it all figured out — they’re still learning along the way. You can’t perfect or fake or forge a way around that with God. This job is learning at the core. It’s being willing to go, and make, and be teachable at the same time. When we’re humbled. When we stumble and fall. When we walk through valleys or scale our way to the mountaintops.
Remember this mid-week: The Great Commission doesn’t say, “Go and be perfect before you tell anyone about God”. That’s nowhere in the root of the job description. We’re told instead to, “Go and make disciples”.
Go and make LEARNERS! Go and make friends and family and strangers ardent pupils in the things of God! Be learners together. Be apprentices to eternity.
Go, and make.
Let’s get to work,