Make Disciples

March 17, 2022 — Krystal Craven
Devotional title text overlaying a black and white picture of two children walking down a dirt path away from the camera. One child has their arm around the other child as they walk.

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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:19-20)

When Harriet Tubman made her way to freedom, finally crossing into the free state of Pennsylvania, she recalled that “there was such a glory over everything” and that “the sun came like gold through the trees, and over the fields, and I felt like I was in heaven.” Yet, being in such a great place, having a new lot in life as a free woman, she decided to risk her life to go back and help free other slaves, leading them to that place of “heaven”.

What does Harriet Tubman have to do with making disciples?

To answer that, we have to look what it means to make disciples.

The biblical meaning of a disciple is a personal follower of Jesus, and this idea of discipleship was very common in biblical days. A disciple in Jesus’ time would be a student of a teacher who would literally follow them around and learn from them by living real life with them.

It’s important to see the distinction between a convert and a disciple.

When Jesus commissioned His servants to make disciples, He fully intended us to live life with those whom are made disciples in order to teach to, not just share the gospel with and convert and be on our merry way. Unfortunately, when the emphasis is on conversion and not discipling, this means that there are people who are missing out on being discipled the way Jesus intended. All disciples are converts, but unfortunately not all converts are discipled.

What we have, we should fully share.

We, as disciples of Jesus, are called to make disciples, which requires us to teach them God’s commands, and in due time they too will make disciples. This means we are called to get in the thick of it with people, walking alongside them, and helping them along their journey to freedom in Christ, truly living an abundant life in His grace.

Imagine if Harriet Tubman would have simply sent a telegram to the remaining slaves letting them know there was this Underground Railroad instead of going herself to help them along the way. I can’t imagine the over 300 slaves she helped free would have truly been brought to freedom had she not made the decision to personally walk alongside them, leading the way through the stations which she had personally walked before on the Underground Railroad.

How much more should Jesus’ followers walk alongside others in the calling of discipleship, to share what we know, what we’ve experienced, what we look forward to in our heavenly inheritance to come?

Are you making disciples?

My dear friend, when was the last time you found yourself discipling someone? I don’t ask this to judge or condemn you, but to stir you to evaluate your activity in the great commission Jesus called you to. God has good works planned for you to walk in, and He has people He could use you to disciple if you’re willing to.

I know the idea of making disciples may seem intimidating, scary, or downright impossible to you, but I guarantee you that if you’re willing to walk in that calling, God is ready and willing to equip you in all areas of this calling. It won’t be by your power or might, by your extensive head knowledge of the Bible, by your position in ministry at your church, or by any other means – it will only be by the Spirit of God that you’re able to disciple others. If you’ve got the Spirt of God dwelling inside of you, you’ve got what you need to be a disciple of Jesus AND to make disciples of Jesus.

Who do you know that needs to be discipled? Pray about it, and don’t be afraid to step out in the power of the Holy Spirit to fulfill the great commission that Jesus has called you to.