Jesus’ Most Unpopular Command
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…
Jesus’ teachings were not easy. As Christians we are to obey all his commands but some of them are tougher than others. We do not object to the idea of loving God and neighbor, even if we do not do it well. Here though, in Jesus’ parting words to his followers, we find a command that most of us would just to prefer to ignore.
Jesus said that we are to go to all the world, spreading the gospel. Most of us just have no interest in doing this though. It is not that we object to the concept. We just do not want to do it ourselves. We do not mind giving money for others to do it but we do not want to get involved personally.
I have known evangelists who seemed natural at striking up conversations about God. Frankly though, the idea of going up to a stranger and telling them of my faith is terrifying. What business of mine is it what he or she believes? That would just be weird and really uncomfortable. I am not doing that.
Most of us cannot remember the last time we actually followed Jesus command to go and make disciples. We may be comfortable with the process once it is inside our church walls. I’ll teach Sunday School. Leaving the protective walls of the church and sharing our faith with those outside though, is just too much. That’s for missionaries, evangelists and pastors, not me.
I have wished that Jesus’ command was not for me. I have justified my inaction by insisting, That is not my gift. If I claim to follow Jesus though, I do not get to pick and choose which commands I follow. If He has done a redemptive work in me and if I love him, I am to tell others what He has done for me.
If I find that there is nothing I wish to tell others of, then I may need to do some soul searching to see how important my relationship with God is. When I look back honestly on my long years of laziness, I can see how little He meant to me. I did not tell others what He had done for me as I felt there was not much to tell.
Sharing my faith does not mean I go out and hit others over the head with my bible. I do not have it all figured out, but sharing what God has done for me works best when it is just a natural part of conversation. If I am honest about my life, destruction and faith, it just flows out of me. I cannot talk very long about anything important without speaking of my own need and redemption. What God has done for me is so life-altering, that it is tough to shut me up about it.
Still though, I do not push the topic when others are disinterested. Jesus seemed to spend his time with those He found to be in need. He went to the hurting, shared his love and left it up to them. I would do well to follow his model.
The Seeds of the Spirit is a daily blog based on a walk through the New Testament. Written from the perspective of my own addiction, it explores the common defects of our flesh nature and the solution, our spirit life. If you find it helpful, sign up for the blog as a daily email, tell your friends and like/share it on Facebook.