House of God
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. Matthew 28:19-20
It’s easy to go to jail bible study with a subtle attitude of superiority. It’s my nature to assume that God wants me to go there to share my wisdom with those who obviously need it. More often than not though, I’m the one who ends up being convicted and humbled by some lesson that I needed to learn.
This happened recently as I came to jail bible study to find that a couple of the guys had invited other men with whom they had been sharing their faith. To be clear, these guys have made significant life mistakes – ending up in jail – but there, they’ve repented, turned to God, and now are sharing their faith with those around them who are struggling. It’s not easy to carry a Bible and follow Christ in jail. This is not an inherently religion-friendly population. These inmates have probably sacrificed more of themselves – to make disciples – in the last few weeks than I have in the last year.
After his resurrection, Christ met with the eleven remaining disciples, giving them his final command. Recorded in today’s passage, Jesus told them they were to carry his message to the world – making disciples – teaching others to follow him. If we claim to be Christians – followers of Christ – we too, must follow this command to share his message with those who need it.
Are we participating in Jesus’ great commission? Today’s passage doesn’t seem to suggest it’s optional. If we’re not obeying Christ in this, can we really call ourselves Christians? Personally, I’ve gone long years of my life, calling myself a Christian, while following myself. In my self-addiction I certainly wasn’t in any condition to share my faith. I’ve sat in church, what I considered to be God’s house, but have been far less obedient to him than these guys I’ve met in jail.
We sometimes think ourselves as far better than we are. As we sit in church on Sunday morning, we imagine ourselves to be following Christ. Are we actively making disciples though? If we’re not, then those guys in jail are being far more obedient to Christ’s commands than we are.