Why Make Disciples?
As we discussed earlier in the week, Jesus used some of His last words on earth to charge us in making disciples in the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19). Why is making disciples so important to Him? Why did He use some of His last words to commission His followers to do that very thing?
The Joy of His Love
The why of making disciples always starts with Jesus. God is for us. He wants us to be in a relationship with Him, and Jesus came to earth to restore this relationship. Despite our sin, brokenness, and failures, Jesus came to redeem us. He came to give us life, purpose, grace, mercy, love, hope, and a future. His love for us is great! John 3:16–17 says, “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” God sent Jesus so that none would perish but rather have eternal life. When we experience His love, it moves us in profound ways. All of sudden we want to follow Him, not because we have to but because we want to be near Him at all times. The joy of His love moves and changes us. As disciples of Christ, our desire should also be that none should perish. As Jesus modeled, we should not condemn others but help bring them to a saving knowledge of Christ.
The Joy of Making Disciples
Because God’s love has moved us, we not only want to follow Him but now we also want to join Him in making disciples. Because God desires that none should perish (2 Peter 3:9), our desire is the same. Making disciples is not a burden, but rather a joy—because we get to share God’s love that has profoundly and deeply moved us. Jesus gave His life for us so that we can give our lives—time, talents, resources, love, and care —to others. What a privilege! What a joy! When Jesus was asked what is the greatest commandment of the law, He responded with two things: love God and love your neighbor (Matthew 22:36–40). When we love God, we are His disciples. When we love others, we make disciples for Jesus. In John 13:34–35, Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” We are to love as Christ has loved us. If we do this, people will know that we are His disciples. Through this love we have for one another, others will want to know the source of this love, which is Jesus. Great joy is found in deep relationships with others. And through these relationships, disciples are made.