Matthew 28:16-20 (click for full reading)
“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit …” –Matthew 28:19
(Click on the title above to listen to the sermon)
Today we hear the word “GO” from Jesus. “Go and make disciples of all nations, and teach them all I have commanded you” Jesus says.
This command of Jesus can be really daunting. What does it mean to “make” a disciple? Does it mean we have to (gulp) share our faith?
What if we don’t want to offend anyone, or don’t know how to even go about talking about Jesus? The Greek word we translate as “GO” is pareuo (pah-roo-oh). Pareuo is better translated as “pursue the journey on which you have entered” or, maybe a little less cumbersome “continue on your journey.” I think this command to go is a lot less scary when we know what this word means. What if God isn’t asking us to start something new or do something we’ve never done before, but to instead look at what we are already doing and change it just a bit?
Bear with me here, but what if our “Go,” our “pareuo” is about changing how we see why we are there? Would you act differently in your job if you thought about being sent there by God for a purpose? How about at home? What about in your relationships?
Jesus is asking us to simply do what we’ve always done, what we are already doing, but this time, to do it knowing something different.
Something bigger. We do it knowing the good news. That Christ has risen. That death has been defeated. That we are children of God loved beyond anything we could have imagined. Who in our work, in our home, in our relationships doesn’t need to hear this? Who in any of those places doesn’t need to be shown the love of God?
And, just when we start thinking that we can’t do it, Jesus gives us a big ‘ol promise to help us through: “Surely I will be with you always.” The word “always” in the Greek actually means “in all things”
Isn’t that lovely? Jesus promises us that he will be with us in all things. In the good and bad. In the holy and not so holy moments.
In church and at work. When we are sharing our faith, and when we aren’t. In all things. What a promise. So we’ve been asked to “pareuo,” to go.
What’s your answer going to be today?
Questions to ponder/discuss:
1. What are the things you are already doing, and the relationships you already have, that you might be being called to “go” to?
2. What are some gifts or talents that you have been given that you might be able to use in a new and different way?
3. Click HERE to see a picture. Based on this diagram, what might you be being called do “go” and do?
You’ve been asked to GO. This week, take some of your answers to the questions above and see what happens when you go with them.
PS. Summer worship is the PERFECT time to invite someone to church. Services are causal and light-hearted, and usually involve food! 9:30am on Sunday mornings, and 6:30pm on Wednesday evenings. The Wednesday theme this summer is “Stuff Christians Say” and will be easy topics to invite others to hear!