At staff meeting a few weeks ago, we spent a little bit of time talking about the Great Commission. Yes! This is my verse. As someone who is very committed to the cause of reaching the unreached, the Great Commission is my motto. But I learned something that kind of shook my understanding of this verse.
Don’t worry. My new found revelation has not changed my feelings or passion for world missions. But I do look at this verse a little differently now.
“Go Ye Therefore!” I’ve listened to countless sermons where this was the thrust of the message. The last thing Jesus said to his disciples was to “GO!” This verse has been the catalyst for pushing people out of their comfortable lives a out in the world making a difference.
Then I learned something very interesting. In staff meeting someone asked, “What are the verbs in this command?” Easy. Go, make (disciples), baptize and teaching. Then someone asked, “What is the “main” verb in this command?” Duh. Everyone knows that. Go!
Go is not the main verb. Make disciples is the main verb.
Go, baptize and teach are participles modifying the imperative verb Ã¢â‚¬Å“make disciples.” A better way to say this verse would be “As you go” or “In your going” make disciples. It is thought that as Jesus gave this command, the “Go” was assumed. In the three years Jesus walked with his disciples, they were always on the go. He often spoke about “all nations.” The point that he was making here was that we are to “make disciples.”
Here’s where the rubber meets the road. For me I’ve “GONE” many times. I’ve been obedient to “The Great Commission.” I’ve spread the gospel.
However, how many disciples have I made? (Awkward silence)
Sure, I’ve been a part of helping kids grow in their faith over a period off years. I’m very proud of that. However, when I step out of my role as “Kenny Conley: Children’s Pastor,” and become “Kenny Conley: Average Guy” or “Kenny Conley: Next Door Neighbor,” how many disciples have I made?
Rhetorical question: How well have I obeyed “The Great Commission?” How well have you?