Mission: Make Disciples
Of the many instructions that Jesus gave to his disciples, the ones from which all the others flow are the Great Commandment and the Great Commission. The Great Commandment is found in Matthew 22:34-40 and is Jesus’ response when he was asked what is the most important command in the law. Jesus said that there are two – to Love God with all your heart, soul and mind and to Love Your Neighbour as Yourself. The Great Commission is the task Jesus gave to his followers following his resurrection and is found in Matthew 28:16-20. It is to Make Disciples of All Nations.
At Christ Church Manchester, we speak about these three ideas using the language of Devotion, Community and Mission. This preaching series will explore each in turn, and if finishes with this message looking at what Mission is.
Telling Others About Jesus (John 1:35-42) – This short passage shows two great examples of what it looks like to live on mission. The first is John the Baptist. John is an established prophet with disciples of his own, but as Jesus walks past he tells his followers about who Jesus is and they went to follow him. When we know Jesus but have others in our lives who don’t know him, then we need to follow John’s example and tell them about him if we want them to know how wonderful he is.
Sharing Our Journey (John 1:35-42) – The second example from this passage is very different to John. Andrew has only just discovered Jesus himself, so unlike John would probably not have the answers to many questions or be able to speak with authority. Nevertheless, Andrew was excited about what he was learning and invited his brother into the journey to learn from Jesus together. Sometimes when we are new to the faith or just discovering about Jesus ourselves then we may not feel too confident answering our friends’ questions, but we can invite them along to church, community group or Alpha and learn about Jesus together.
Go to New Places (Acts 1:8) – In the Great Commission, Jesus does not just say to make disciples, but to ‘make disciples of all nations.‘ This is elaborated on in Acts 1:8 where he says to be witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and the ends of the earth. The idea is that as well as making disciples in the place we are now, we also need to think about how we can reach new places. This can involve planting churches and sites into new communities locally, and also going and/or sending cross-cultural missionaries into unreached parts of the world.