March 5, 2020
Last night we spent the evening talking about The Great Commission. In Matthew 28, Jesus gathers his 11 remaining disciples, and He gives them a purpose. Up until this point, in the story of the Bible, it has been all about God. It’s been about God solving the problem of sin and evil in human hearts. Last week, we made it to the culmination of God’s plan to redeem humanity in looking at the cross of Christ. On the cross, Jesus justifies, and purifies His people so that they can have right standing with God, just like Adam and Eve did in the garden. But after doing that, Jesus doesn’t leave his disciples purposeless, He gives them purpose and meaning by sending them out to the world.
We talked specifically about the purpose of the church. The students had good answers when I asked them what the purpose of the church was, saying things like: for fellowship, to learn about Christ, to worship, but no one said that the purpose of the church was to be sent into the world on mission for Jesus. In fact, that IS the purpose of the church. We come together to be reminded of the hope we have in God SO THAT we can go be lights in the world. We talked a lot about what it means to be disciples, and to be “disciple makers.” To be a disciple is to fall under the authority of a teacher. We are Jesus’ disciples if we submit to His authority. So we are to go and make more disciples, to teach the truths of Jesus to the world. We related it to having the cure for cancer or coronavirus. If we had the cure, we would share it with EVERYONE! The news of Jesus is much better than the cure for these things, as it saves people from eternal destruction. It is a joy to share life saving news like that with the world!
We ended in small groups seeking to apply the great commission to our lives. This would be a GREAT week to be open and honest and vulnerable about your own struggles/successes with fulfilling the great commission in your own life. Your students need to see that these are not easy things, but things they’ll wrestle with for the entirety of their lives. Here’s some questions to help guide your conversations:
- When you think about sharing Jesus with other people, what is the first thing that comes to mind? Fear, intimidation, excitement, something else? Why do you think that is?
- Can you be a disciple maker by just living a Godly life, but not speaking any words about Jesus? Why or why not? (Note: To make disciples, we’ve got to serve people, love them, and share the news of Jesus with them.)
- How do you respond to someone who clearly doesn’t want the gospel, or even might belittle you for believing in Jesus?
- Where does your strength come from in fulfilling the great commission? Note, Jesus promises to be with us, and gives us His Spirit!