February 23, 2018

By Rev. Dr. Sunny Ahn, Kona UMC, Hawaii District

Matthew 28:19-20

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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

In the season of self-examination and reflection, today we have Jesus’ last earthly message to His disciples in the Gospel of Matthew. While Jesus still leads and guides, this is the message He wants His disciples to remember as His parting command, which traditionally has been called “the Great Commission” wrapped up with two verbs—GO & MAKE! In any language, GO means “don’t stay.” We can no longer stay in the comfort of our pews, our homes, our “box,” if we are the disciples of Jesus Christ. The call of God demands us to step out of our comfort zone and GO. We go next door or down the hall in the building where we work or live. We go to the golf course or gym or to the various other places where we find ourselves busy at recreation or entertainment. We go also to other countries and all nations not just for the going sake, but for the purpose of “MAKE-ing” disciples of all nations. Are we, as disciples of Jesus Christ, going somewhere now purposefully? If not, why not?

After “GO-ing” we are to MAKE disciples of all nations by baptizing people we meet and teaching them to obey everything Jesus has commended us. Baptizing people here is more than getting them “wet” by the pastors in The United Methodist Church. It is about immersing them in the love of God. It’s like soaking them in the love of God, so that they know they are the beloved children of God. How do we “baptize” people with God’s love? By the words of our mouth and by the actions of our heart, do people around us feel the love of God? If not, why not? The second step of disciple-making process is to teach people to obey everything Jesus has commended us. We are not to teach people everything Jesus has commanded us only, but to teach them to obey those commends. How do we do that? Isn’t it an impossible task? It is impossible for us to do this alone, but with God it is possible as Jesus entrusts us with the mission once entrusted to Him by God with the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus promises that He will be with us always, to the end of the age. Therefore, we are to GO confidently and MAKE disciples of all nations today in the name of God the Creator, Son Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit. So, let’s GO!

Prayer: Thank You, God, for commissioning us to GO and Make disciples of all nations like You have commissioned Your Son, Jesus Christ. Show us the place You are calling us to go today and give us the eyes to see those people around us. So, we can “baptize” them and “teach” them in Your love by the words of our mouth and the actions of our heart. Restore the joy in disciple-making once again today. In Christ’s name, we pray. Amen.