Summary: We take a look at another of Jesus' instructions from His Great Commission
Let’s get to our passage. Turn over to Matthew 28. This passage might be pretty familiar to you, but that’s ok. When you get to Matthew 28, we’ll read verses 19-20. Pay attention to this passage…as it lays the foundation for what we’re studying today. Let’s read our passage for today…again, it’s Matthew 28:19-20.
It says: 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
We’re moving along here in our series about making disciples. Last week we started really getting into the specifics of what Jesus says in his Great Commission. We focused on how we should want to go to all nations to make disciples because reaching the unreached is connected to bringing about the end. Today, we’re looking at another phrase that Jesus says: “Teach them.”
Now, I know that there’s another instruction before this one…to baptize the disciples that we make. But the teaching that we’re going to do will happen both before and after the baptizing. So we’re not skipping baptism. We’re just talking about teaching first…because people won’t know that they need to be baptized if we don’t teach it to them first.
But here’s the thing about Jesus’ instruction to “teach them.” If we’re going to teach others…we need to be taught ourselves. And how are we going to be taught? Well…that’s what things like Sunday School and Sermons are for, right? VBS and Camps. Conferences and Men’s or Women’s Groups and books by Frances Chan and Kyle Idleman. That’s how we’ll learn the things that we need to know about how to live and how to be Christians and the church and how we…make disciples.
*Or…that seems to be what we think anyway. And while all of those things might be helpful…those shouldn’t be our primary source for teaching ourselves…and teaching others…about how we should live and be Christians and the church and…make disciples. No…what we need to turn to…is the only source of truth and real wisdom in this life… God’s word.
**So that’s what we’re going to talk about this morning…God’s word. The Bible. It’s more than just 66 books divided into two sections filled with laws, numbers, and historical events. It is our life source as Christians. So that’s why our first point for today is this: we should desire God’s word.
Do you crave God’s word? Is it what fuels you? Is it what drives your daily life? Is it your source for getting to know your author and perfecter? Or…is it just a book you pick up and bring to church…or turn to when you’re feeling guilty…or to be able to answer any question about the bible…or just to prepare a lesson or sermon? Maybe yours just sits and collects dust.
If so…then you’re not alone. There are a lot…a lot…of Christians who misuse God’s word. Which is to say they don’t desire it…they don’t crave it. But that shouldn’t make you feel better about yourself. It should be a wakeup call.
If we don’t desire God’s word…if we don’t make it a part of our lives…we are crippling ourselves and our faith. It should be something that we can’t live without…much like water or food or air. That’s how important God’s word should be to us. Take Psalm 119 for instance. It’s the longest chapter in the Bible, and it’s basically one long love song to God’s word. All throughout it there are phrases like what we find in verse 131 which says: “I open my mouth and pant, longing for your commands.”
Is it the bread that we eat? Is it the water we drink? Is it the air we breathe? Or is it simply a paperweight? Or something that we skim over from time to time? Be honest with yourself…how many more things from this world do you desire before God’s word? Let’s put it this way…how many books do you read before you read the Bible? We won’t even get into TV shows and Video Games and Computer stuff and all of that. How many books do you read more than you read this right here? For a lot of us…probably a lot more. But then for some others… it’s the only book we read.
Now, if that’s you this morning…before you pat yourself on the back…do you read it out of a desire to be immersed in what it says…in what it shows you…in how it teaches you to live? If so…then you’re well on your way to being able to teach as Jesus instructed during his command to make disciples. For the rest of us though… …