The Great Commission given to those who’ve chosen to follow Jesus Christ is to go and teach all nations (Matthew 28:19), or in modern English, to go and make disciples of all nations. A disciple is one who accepts and aids in spreading the beliefs of another. The disciple starts as a student, learning the beliefs of the one teaching, then progresses to becoming one who teaches the beliefs to others, thus making disciples. It stands to reason therefore that before one can fulfill the Great Commission, one must first become a disciple. Three conditions must be present to qualify one as a disciple of Christ. Let’s look at each of them.
Condition 1: Called To Walk
Those who are disciples of Jesus Christ are called to walk with Him. Jesus handpicked the twelve disciples to walk with Him throughout the course of His ministry before the Crucifixion. Jesus still calls men and women to walk with Him today. The Apostle Paul tells us to walk, or live a life that’s worthy of the calling we’ve received from Christ. The Apostle Peter tells us to give diligence, or be eager to make our calling from Christ sure. It’s important to know that before the disciple chooses to follow Jesus, Christ must first call him or her. Jesus tells us himself, “You didn’t choose Me, I chose you (John 15:16).”
Condition 2: Equipped To Live
Those who are disciples of Jesus Christ are equipped to live like Him. They are dynamically engaged in the development of spiritual growth and renovation. Those who are disciples of Jesus have denied themselves. They’ve taken up their crosses and they’re following Him (Mark 8:34). Like David of old, they have hid the Word in their hearts so they won’t sin against God (Psalms 119:11). Disciples of Christ are careful to present themselves approved to God, workers who don’t have to be ashamed when they correctly handle, or explain the Word (2Timothy 2:15)
Condition 3: Sent to Work
The disciple of Jesus Christ is commissioned and sent out to work for Him. We know the work the twelve disciples of Jesus carried out after they received the commission to go and make disciples. The world was literally transformed by their preaching. Being commissioned to go and make disciples for Christ doesn’t necessarily mean that we all will become missionaries or the next mighty evangelist to shake the foundation of the world with our preaching.
Go and Make Disciples
The word go as used in the Great Commission is interesting. It’s use here means to go your way or to depart. What makes it so interesting is that the word go here is derived from another Greek word, peira (pi’-rah), that means experience. The heart of the Great Commission then is to take the experience we have of Christ and go our way making more disciples for Him. That means no matter where we go or where we’re at, we are to make disciples for Jesus Christ.
Christ has called us. We spend our lifetime actively pursuing spiritual growth and renovation. Then we stop right there. We leave the making disciple part to the preachers and missionaries. Yet that isn’t how Christ intended for it to be. Fear is what stops us from making disciples. It’s the fear of being ridiculed or rejected that stops us. “But you’ll receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you’ll be witnesses (Acts 1:8).” God hasn’t given us a spirit of fear. He’s given us power, love, and a sound mind (2Timothy 1:7). To be a complete disciple of Jesus Christ, we must obey the Great Commission and take the experience we have with Him and make disciples wherever we go, wherever we’re at.