When Jesus gave the Great Commission to His disciples, He said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19). This statement is one of the most well-known and pivotal in the Christian faith.
But what did Jesus mean by it? Let’s take a closer look.
What Does ‘Make Disciples’ Mean?
To understand what Jesus meant when He said, “make disciples,” we need to first define the term “disciple.” A disciple is a follower or student of a particular teacher or philosophy. In this context, Jesus was referring to people who would follow Him and learn from His teachings.
To make disciples, then, means to lead people to become followers of Jesus Christ. This involves not only sharing the Gospel message with them but also teaching them about Christ’s teachings and helping them grow in their faith.
Why All Nations?
Jesus specifically commanded His disciples to make disciples of all nations. This was significant because at that time, many Jews believed that salvation was only for the Jewish people. But Jesus was saying that His message was for everyone, regardless of their nationality or ethnicity.
This command also reflects God’s heart for all people groups. In Genesis 12:3, God promised Abraham that through him all nations would be blessed. Throughout the Old Testament, God revealed Himself as a God who cares about all people groups and desires for them to come to know Him.
How Do We Make Disciples?
Making disciples involves both evangelism (sharing the Gospel message) and discipleship (teaching new believers how to grow in their faith). Here are some practical ways we can fulfill this command:
- Pray for opportunities to share the Gospel with others.
- Build relationships with non-believers and share your faith with them.
- Invite people to church or other Christian events.
- Use social media and other platforms to share the Gospel message.
- Mentor new believers and help them grow in their faith.
The Importance of Making Disciples
Making disciples is not just a suggestion from Jesus; it’s a command. It’s also an important part of our purpose as Christians. We are called to be salt and light in the world, sharing the message of salvation with those who need to hear it.
Additionally, making disciples is crucial for the growth and health of the Church. As new believers come to faith and are discipled, they become a part of the body of Christ and contribute to its growth and vitality.
When Jesus said, “go therefore and make disciples of all nations,” He was giving His followers a mission that would impact the world for generations to come. By leading people to become followers of Christ, we can help fulfill God’s plan for all nations to know Him. Let’s take this command seriously and make it a priority in our lives as Christians.