This is our third blog on Jesus teaching. We could probably spend the rest of our time here.
This month we are looking at Jesus teaching between the resurrection and the ascension. Forty days. God likes this number.
Since it is Jesus’s last words while on earth, I think we should pay special attention to it. Much to think on and much to apply.
In some discussion I have had recently with numerous people, I am surprised of how much emphasis is placed on community and how little emphasis is placed on the great commission. This is an error on our part. This blog attempts to address this question.
In parting, be focused on storing up treasures in Heaven. That is what all this life is about.
Your friend and servant,
To-Do’s from the Post-Resurrection:
Just before His final ascension, Jesus said:
Matt 28:19 Therefore go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Matt 28:20 teaching them to observe all things, whatever I commanded you. And, behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the world. Amen.
These are the last words Jesus spoke on earth. We should pay special attention to them and be about obeying them in our life.
Let us look at some of the words Jesus uses in His last talk before ascending – a commandment to the men and us:
- Therefore-go: The verses say that now that you know and have observed the truth go share it with others. There were many venues and opportunities then and now. Which one are you gifted to use? Now, “Therefore-go “
- Make disciples: Most people in the believing community, have the title disciple but don’t think or behave as one. Review and grade yourself:
Matt 5:16 Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works and glorify your Father who is in Heaven.
Luke 14:26 If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and his own life also, he cannot be My disciple.
Luke_14:33 So then, every one of you who does not forsake all his possessions, he cannot be My disciple.
John 14:21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves Me. And he who loves Me shall be loved by My Father, and I will love him and will reveal Myself to him.
Note: Love is an emotion but that emotion should lead to an act of the will.
John 8:31 Then Jesus said to the Jews who believed on Him (loved), if you continue in My Word, you are My disciples indeed.
John 8:32 And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
Teaching: Teaching means “intransitively to become a pupil; transitively to disciple, that is, enroll as scholar: be discipled, instruct, teach”. The word says to teach the people to obey the Word. It says teach them the Word and how to obey it, not just know it, memorize it, read it, listen to it but obey it.
I review too many Bible studies and retreats where good things are taught but no application is suggested or considered. After the talk I only know what the speaker learned from the scriptures.
The question we must ask after the talk must be, so-what? We don’t listen to good teaching to be smarter sinner but to become a new person in Christ.
- Jesus is with us: Practice this truth daily. He is all around us.
Rom 1:19 Because the thing which may be known of God is clearly revealed within them, for God revealed it in them.
Rom 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood in his workmanship, so that men are without excuse.
Rejoice and “see Him”.
Being a disciple or being discipled is not found in a class or a classification.
Let me suggest things you might do in your obedience to this commandment to make disciples.
- Be a person of the Word. Have people in your life that support your growth.
- Help a person solve a crisis or question in their life by looking for guidance in the Word.
- Help a person develop a consistent prayer life.
- Help the person to have a list of ten non-believers that they are praying for their salvation.
- Coach and help a person to start giving.
Anyone of these would help you get started with self and others in this call for discipleship.
Let me note that there is a big emphasis for community and gathering in the Christian body. Though I think these social gatherings are of value, they will not necessarily draw you closer to God.
The old word used to talk about groups of mutual desire to be God’s people was fellowship. Are you in a social gathering or a fellowship?
A fellowship should…
Heb 10:23 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering (for He is faithful who promised),
Heb 10:24 and let us consider one another to provoke to love and to good works,
Heb 10:25 not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching
The question to ask of your “community” or “gathering” is, are they provoking and/or exhorting? If they are not, I would think that you are in a social group.
- Understand my giftedness and purposefully contribute to some evangelism or discipleship or service this day, week, or year.
- By study, prayer and obedience, move the people in my sphere of influence closer to God.
- Be aware of the living God in creation. Romans 1:18–20. Practice His presence. This is not New Age, it is a time of being sensitive to His Being, i.e. Psalm 19:1-4
- Am I storing up treasure in Heaven?
- Ask yourself the question: Who has a discipling influence on me?