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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.
The Great Commission, Jesus’s final recorded words by the Gospel writer Matthew, describes the desired outcome of disciple-making: followers who obey everything Jesus commands. We might call such followers “Christlike disciples,” and the reaching, establishing, and developing of these kinds of disciples is the task of the church.
Since we are called to develop Christlike disciples, it is fair to ask, “What is
a Christlike disciple?”
I remember being asked by a workshop speaker, “What is the fruit of an apple tree?”
I am glad I answered the question in my head. I thought, An apple, of course.
After many people shouted my silent answer, the speaker said, “No, the fruit of an apple tree is another apple tree. If it is just an apple, apples would cease to exist when that tree died.”
So what is the fruit of a Christlike disciple who obeys everything Jesus commands? In the end, our disciple-making efforts should not be just disciples but other disciple makers because a disciple maker is a Christlike disciple!
Lord, you are the great Disciple Maker. Thank you for making disciples of us. Help us to always follow you and never try to lead you. Empower us to make disciples who make disciples who look like you.
Prayer Journal Reflections
Reflect on becoming Christlike disciples in the church in Canada and the United States.
Global Director, Nazarene Discipleship International