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::Devotional:: ‘The Commission Omission’

April 13, 2010

What if you took your favorite recipe and omitted a key ingredient?  How well do you think the dish would turn out?  What if you took the Pythagorean Theorem (a² + b² = c²) and omitted b²?  How accurate do you think your measurements of the sides of a right triangle would be?  What if we omitted part of the Great Commission Jesus gave to his disciples?  How thorough would our fulfillment be of that command?

After his resurrection, Jesus came to his disciples and gave them some instructions.

Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”  Matthew 28:18-20

This is called the Great Commission because the disciples were commissioned, or given authority and purpose, by Jesus for a specific task.  The tasks of the commission can be broken down into smaller pieces.

  • Go
  • Make disciples of all nations
  • Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
  • Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you

What if we omitted the last task?  What if we went, shared the gospel with people who then accepted Jesus and were baptized, and that was it?  It seems like that would be a very important ingredient in the formula to leave out don’t you think?  Unfortunately, statistics show that there are more and more Christians who aren’t being discipled or at least discipled correctly.  Discipling, in large part, seems to be the commission omission.

Discipleship is a partnership that requires two commitments.  One must commit to teach and the other must commit to learn.  Commitment seems to be a taboo word these days because nobody really wants to be held accountable to anything.  However, the Great Commission transcends all time and situations and stands firm in its command.

If we examine the Biblical model for the body of believers, it seems evident to me that discipleship is at the center.

It was he [Jesus]  who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining the whole measure of the fulness of Christ.  Ephesians 4:11-13

Where do you fall in this discipleship partnership today?  Are you able to teach?  Are you teaching?  Are you in need of learning?  Are you learning?  Are you growing, maturing, as a disciple of Christ?  Seek out opportunities to grow.  Find classes in your local church that will challenge you and help you mature.  Discover the wonderful teaching of the Holy Spirit through a commitment to study God’s word.  Be the disciple you were saved to be.

-Stay Rooted Col. 2:7-

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