Summary: Today, we want to look further as how we can make disciples that are true disciples.
Let’s review what we have studied so far on our series “Jesus Christ, Disciple-Maker.”
The first sermon in this series was “How Jesus Made Disciples.” This sermon focused on Christ’s command and how it was preceded by 3 ½ years of training by example. Jesus taught the disciples what it meant to make disciples.
The second sermon was “What is a Disciple?” We learned that in its broadest application, a disciple is a Christian. Every Christian is called to grow into deeper maturity. We asked two key questions in this sermon, the first was
Am I a disciple?” We examined 4 crucial tests:
1) The GOSPEL test. (Do you know the facts of the gospel and is your faith in Jesus alone?)
2) The FOLLOWING test (are you a follower?)
3) the LEARNING test (are you growing?)
4) the AUTHENTIC text (Do you meet the specific claims that Jesus said are required of all his disciples?)
Then, we examined a second crucial question, “Am I making disciples that are true disciples?”
Today, we want to look further as how we can make disciples that are true disciples.
FIRST - Make Sure You Understand the Instructions! Matthew 28:19-20
To get where you want, we have to know where you are going!
Yogi Berra brilliantly said“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you’re going, because you might not get there.” https://www.illustrationexchange.com
Let’s take a closer look at the Great Commission in Matthew 28:19-20
The main verb is from the root of the word “disciples” Mathetes (Greek)
The noun form mathetes is used 269 x in the NT
However, the verb form is used only 4x in the NT The following chart details this usage.
USES OF ìáèçôåýóáôå IN THE GREEK NEW TESTAMENT
Matthew 13:52 (ESV)
52 And he said to them, “Therefore every scribe who has been trained for the kingdom of heaven is like a master of a house, who brings out of his treasure what is new and what is old.” Matthew 13 contains six parables concerning the Kingdom of Heaven. Jesus instructs his followers that entrance to his eternal kingdom is received only when a person becomes a disciple.
Matthew 27:57 (ESV)
57 When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. Joseph is identified as a follower of Jesus.
Matthew 28:19 (ESV)
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, This is the only imperative use of ìáèçôåýù in the NT. It forms the central command given to the disciples, and by extension – the church.
Acts 14:21 (ESV)
21 When they had preached the gospel to that city and had made many disciples, they returned to Lystra and to Iconium and to Antioch, The first missionary journey ends with a summary of the trip’s success. This passage affirms that the validity of Mat. 28:19 as a primary objective for the church.
Now that we have a little understanding of the main verb, let’s look at the accompanying verbs in Matthew 28:19-20. These verbal forms are going, baptizing and teaching. These three words clarify what it means to make disciples.
In English, if we break down this sentence we have a compound predicate (verb) comprised of two actions: GO and MAKE DISCIPLES
Disciples becomes the Direct Object (what you are supposed to make)
Baptizing and Teaching are prepositions that compliment the verb.
The structure is slightly different in Greek.
In the original, this sentence contains a single verb with THREE prepositions.
The main verb is matheteo, the verbal form of mathetes. It means “Make Disciples”
The verb is in the aorist tense, indicating a decision that is made at a particular point in time.
It is in the Active voice, indicating that it is something that the subject must do on his or her own initiative.
It is in the imperative mood, meaning that it is a command to be followed.
Following the main verb “make disciples,” we find three participles. A participle is a verbal form that modifies a noun.
The participles are
In the Greek, we understand this as a key command that is explained further through the actions that accompany it. Making disciples is done as we are going. We must move from where we are and make a conscious effort to take the gospel. For some, this means walking across the street to a neighbor to share God’s love with them. It might mean going to a new lunch table to start up a discussion with a lonely student. It might mean going across an ocean to take the gospel to those who have not heard. The extent of the “going” is not specified, but the attitude of being a goer is.