Doesn’t it seem like there’s never anything good to watch on TV these days? The shows you grew up with were probably much more enjoyable than what you see on TV today. Andy Griffith…Happy Days…I Love Lucille… Well, when I was a kid, we had the best TV shows. On Saturdays, it was Fishin’ with Red and Continental Championship Wrestling. But during the week I lived for shows like: Tour of Duty…Knight Rider…Dukes of Hazard…Air Wolf. One of my all-time favorites though has to be The A-Team. They were the best! Especially Mr. T. He wasn’t scared of anything or anybody, unless it involved getting on a plane. Here’s a little bit of a sample…
As I got older, and watched reruns of the show, I quickly realized something. The A-Team always did a lot of shooting, and never hit anything!
Sometimes I feel like disciples are a lot like the A-Team. We do a lot of shooting, but we never hit what we’re supposed to.
Sometimes our aim is bad. What do I mean by this? Because we haven’t developed as disciples, we aren’t prepared to take advantage of disciplemaking opportunities when they come. We aren’t developed as disciples, because we haven’t done what we spoke about last week in Ezra 7:10.
For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.
I. Be Intentional (“set his heart”).
II. Immerse Yourself In God’s Word (“study the Law of the Lord”).
III. Have Integrity (“and to do it”).
IV. Invest In Others (“and to teach his statutes and rules”).
The author of Hebrews calls this getting off the bottle.
For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the basic principles of the oracles of God. You need milk, not solid food, for everyone who lives on milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, since he is a child. But solid food is for the mature, for those who have their powers of discernment trained by constant practice to distinguish good from evil. Heb. 5:11-14
Other times, we spend too much time shooting at the wrong things. As believers, our primary objective does not involve us swearing allegiance to and supporting a certain political party or president. Or, waging theological war on social media. Scripture is crystal clear. As believers, we have one mission. One objective. We are to make disciples.
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.
- We are not told the specific location, but Jesus has prearranged this important meeting. There are probably other disciples present, but Jesus is focused here on the eleven.
- Matthew mentions the location of Galilee back in Mat. 26.32, as well as Mat. 28.7, 10.
- The disciples had to leave where they were. I don’t think this point should be over looked. We too, like to stay where we are. It’s familiar, it’s comfortable. But the first disciples were not given that opportunity and neither are we. If we are going to make disciples, we can’t keep doing what we’ve been doing. We’ve got to get off the couch and become involved in God’s agenda.
7 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.
- “Christ’s commission is not about duty but delight, not about a project but a Person…Our joy is to introduce people to Jesus, who can save them and transform their lives with purpose and power.” – Rodney Woo
- literally “to duplicate, be of two minds, to hesitate”. Sometimes even those presented with clear evidence of the gospel of Jesus can struggle with certainty. Although it is not the ideal, there may be times individuals have no other option than to pray as the father in Mark 9:24, “I believe, help my unbelief.”
Ideally, we are challenged by Jesus and throughout scripture to be certain of the nature of Jesus and the gospel. Consider:
Hebrews 11:1 – “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”
Romans 4:18-21 – “In hope he believed against hope, that he should become the father of many nations, as he had been told, “So shall your offspring be.” He did not weaken in faith when he considered his own body, which was as good as dead (since he was about a hundred years old), or when he considered the barrenness of Sarah’s womb. No unbelief made him waver concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong in his faith as he gave glory to God, fully convinced that God was able to do what he had promised.”
In contrast, lack of faith results in fear (Mark 4:37-41). And confusion (Matt. 16:8-9). And worry (Matt. 6:25-34).
- Doubt also smothers our willingness to make disciples. We believe we don’t know enough, or we believe that it’s all up to us and we doubt our ability to get the job done.
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
- All is a key word in 28:18–20. It emphasizes Jesus’ divine identity: all authority, all nations, all things. – Stuart K. Weber, Matthew, vol. 1, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 484.
- If Jesus has all authority
- 1) we must live in submission to Him
- 2) we will have success in the Great Commission because of who he is, not because of who we are in both our strengths and weaknesses.
- APP: You really can’t “keep it casual” and follow Jesus.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
- Literally, “Therefore, as you go, make disciples…”
- We should continually be available to share the good news and help others follow Christ more deeply.
- Jesus intends for us to live sent. See John 20:21; Acts 1:8.
- Every believer has the responsibility to share the gospel.
- Going means crossing boundaries to make disciples—going across the street, going to dinner with an unbelieving friend, going into the inner city, going beyond one’s comfort zone to make the gospel accessible to the lost. Living life is “going” with a purpose, every day. – Stuart K. Weber, Matthew, vol. 1, Holman New Testament Commentary (Nashville, TN: Broadman & Holman Publishers, 2000), 484–485.
- The only imperative in this verse. This is the central command of these verses. This IS the ministry of the church.
- The devil is more than happy to keep us plugged into religious activity, in order to keep us from gospel productivity.
- The authority and presence of Christ should motivate us to share our faith.
- QUES: Am I bought in to this mission?
- literally “people groups”APP: If the church is to make disciples of all nations:
- There is no place for prejudices in the church.
- The church should be a beacon on unity for the world.
- The church should minister impartially.
20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
- “When I have the presence of the Lord, nothing is a hardship for me.” – C. H. S.