Editorial by Jorgue Aguero
The Great Commission of Jesus in Matthew 28:18–20 highlights three important verbs: go, make (disciples) and teach. However, to go, make and teach requires preliminary steps to successfully fulfill God’s command.
Jesus did not include these three steps in his mandate because it was implicit that, by the end of His three-year ministry, His disciples were well-acquainted with them:
Go. It is difficult to follow an order or obey it unless you trust the person who gives the order. Knowing Jesus in a personal way gives us the security and confidence that the mandate to “go” will be a personal blessing and a blessing for others. The success of “going” is assured because we go with His power and authority. Jesus repeatedly gave orders to His disciples (see Matthew 21:2; 26:18; 28:10). “Go” is not an option; it is a mandate. Victory is assured from God when we fulfill the order to “go.”
Make. One must first be a disciple of Jesus to make disciples of others. It is paradoxical to try to discipline others when we are not disciplined ourselves. In other words, the task of making disciples for Jesus has a better success rate if we are first disciples of Him, for a blind man cannot lead another blind man because the two will fall into the same hole (see Luke 6:39).
Teach. Jesus says we must teach others to keep all the things He has commanded. This requires prior knowledge of what we are to teach. We cannot teach and share what we do not know. We can only successfully teach “what we have seen and heard” (1 John 1:3, NIV).
The teacher who teaches requires continuous learning. The same is required of Jesus’ disciples. We require continuous learning; not only of the doctrine of Jesus but of the person of Jesus. It is then that we can victoriously fulfill the divine commission to “go, make disciples and teach.”
Jorge Aguero serves as the president of the New Jersey Conference.
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