NOW–GO, [MAKE], IMMERSE, TEACH & REMEMBER
Matthew 28:9-10, 16-20
[With this last passage in Matthew’s account especially to Israel, I wanted to give a little taste and feel of the Hebrew setting, reading from the COMPLETE HEBREW BIBLE, where at least the pivotal words and names are in the language that was actually spoken.
You may be excited to hear and say the pivotal names as they are spoken in the language Jesus and His talmidim [His disciples] actually spoke. To know our roots as Yeshua’s Body Part adds meaning and passion to our participation with the One who has been given “All authority in Heaven and on earth.” His authority is the Cornerstone and Foundation from which He discloses His disciples’ full-time, all-consuming occupation. “Therefore,” we will unpack each element with an eye on Mark’s account of this directive so we can know exactly what Jesus is telling US to do.] _____________________________________________
9-10 Suddenly Yeshua met them and said, “Shalom!” They came up and took hold of his feet as they fell down in front of him. Then Yeshua said to them, “Don’t be afraid! Go and tell my brothers to go to the Galil, and they will see me there.”
16-20 So the eleven talmidim went to the hill in the Galil where Yeshua had told them to go. When they saw him, they prostrated themselves before him; but some hesitated. Yeshua came and talked with them. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore, go and make people from all nations into talmidim, immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Ruach HaKodesh, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember! I will be with you always, yes, even until the end of the age.”
Jesus sets down the declarative and then, based on that, issues a directive to those who recognized the foundational truth of that declarative and would therefore be determined to carry it out.
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” All authority is a lot. That would mean that whatever His wishes and commands would definitely be followed. It stands to reason that those who had witnessed His death and resurrection, as well as the miracles that He performed, would be eager to hear and follow Jesus’ orders.
We obey and “go out,” to “make disciples.” The purpose of following Him outside myself is to reproduce, in others, that same zeal to follow Him which knowing Him has produced in me.
Now, to make…
God has exclusive prerogative to create, but has graciously extended that to include us as He continues His creative process. We have some pretty specific information about how He creates. First He speaks, then breathes. He speaks to make something. In the case of all that we see & know about, He spoke and the something was made out of nothing. He breathes to give life to the something He has spoken into existence. He speaks then, breathes.
Let’s go right down to the lowest foundation and make sure we build our understanding from there. God spoke the Cosmos [beautiful order] into existence out of nothing. [Heb 11:3] “Let there be…” He made Man from the dust of the earth and breathed life into Him. Basic raw material is made and then molded into whatever the potter designs. In the illustration God gave Jeremiah, the design was marred in the Potter’s hand [Jeremiah 18]. Yes, the proto design had the potential to be corrupted because of a specific faculty inherent in being “made in the image of God,” namely, volition or free will. [Genesis 1:26]
Now that scientists have mapped the human genome, we can “see” the “shadow” [Col 2:17] of the actual spiritual substance and design of Man. That double helix lattice is not the actual spiritual substance, but only the defective physical machinery (ectoplasmic shadow) of the indestructible physically-wrapped spiritual being. The first thoroughly spiritual being equipped with a physical body, with all its faculties and facilities, “fearfully and wonderfully made,” was spoken into existence, formed and breathed into by Adonai, the Lord of all His Creation. [Note: for the answer to “why?” see entire Holy Bible.]
To “make disciples,” as it refers to a human in this age, means to affect a change in the function, focus and force of volition. But it is clear that, God’s way is to affect that change in the isolated, lost individual without ever abrogating that their free will. In other words, without coercive domination.1 The result of the serpent’s coercive domination1 over the first Man [Genesis 3] is the corruption of the inherent “image” of God’s nature. Of course, that substantive deconstruction changed the physical DNA2, the shadow of the spiritual creature. The serpent’s goal is clear, to spiritually imprison all future human beings in self-conscious, complicit isolation from the One in whose image they had been made. Through the Y-chromosome, every following generation inherited the broken DNA.
Why did the Creator create Man impregnated with His image? He was not creating an animal race for fearful servitude or robotic obedience. He wants to have intimate, intentionally unbroken fellowship! So, to regain that proto consciousness and connection, servitude to self-conscious isolation must be recognized and overcome by the individual volition of Man, for it was through free will [though coerced] that it had been corrupted. The person who has made that transition to a life of attention to God’s original design, with the commitment to overcome the resistance, internal and external, and to practice that Design as it is disclosed, is called a by God, “talmid” [disciple, pupil, student, scholar], plural – “talmidim” [disciples].
The question: – How does one GO & Make a disciple? What is the specific participation and influence that a talmid is to exert toward that creation or essentially that re-creation process?
The Cornerstone is the message previous session, “go out of yourself to Me.” That means complete reliance on and trust in Yeshua Ha-Mashiach. That reliance and trust includes an ingredient very specifically related to the damage inflicted by the serpent – the broken DNA which has been passed to every subsequent generation. Yeshua was not born from the sperm of a human father, Yosef. His DNA was perfect, as Adam’s had originally been. That gives an eternal hope to every individual who will renounce and resist the works of the evil one. The promise of the indestructible spiritual self wrapped in an eternal physical body.
Mark’s gospel comes in handy here –
Mark 16:15-18 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
Preach the gospel – announce tidings of great joy – a Son is born!
The Son of God, son of Man, the Messiah, He has come!
In the vernacular of the Complete Jewish Bible, “Whoever trusts and is immersed will be saved; whoever does not trust will be condemned.”
And Luke’s account in Acts 1:4-5 – “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about. For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit…
8 you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.
12-14 Then the apostles returned to Jerusalem from the hill called the Mount of Olives, a Sabbath day’s walk from the city. When they arrived, they went upstairs to the room where they were staying. Those present were Peter, John, James and Andrew; Philip and Thomas, Bartholomew and Matthew; James son of Alphaeus and Simon the Zealot, and Judas son of James. They all joined together constantly in prayer, along with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brothers.
Why did they commit themselves to this determined focus and obedience? Only one thing will cause that. They had seen, touched & been touched by Jesus, Yeshua the Messiah! They had personally witnessed His life, His miracles, His death and His resurrection!
You can study and teach all the methods you like, there is still only one way to “make disciples” for Jesus – introduce them to Him, immerse them in Him, then facilitate their interaction with Him and teach them how to practice His new life in/through them, through their flesh & bone, nuts & bolts, everyday life. There is only One who can live the life that Jesus described, Him, living in a willing host!
That’s why they committed themselves to that determined focus and obedience. That’s the reason anyone would commit themself to Him. There is always tangible, physical affects to His physical touch. God’s purpose fulfilled in Jesus, “I in them, You in me and them in Us.” God found broken yet willing, committed vessels and then, they heard the Wind and saw the Fire!
Preach, filled with Holy Spirit, acknowledging that Yeshua the Messiah came as a human being from God. 1John4:2
“Preach the Word.” 2 Timothy 4:2
You are the message. See what God sees & use every power to live it outloud.
Acts 26:19 – If we lose sight of what God sees, we have forgotten to continually work what we are learning about God out into our fingertips, applying it to our life’s practical challenges.
Will you go on following Jesus? Or, will you stop and begin to question because you can’t tell where He is going or what He is doing when circumstances appear too hard, even impossible?
He knows where we are going. He is leading. Following Him is the qualification to get there. Consciously doing that provides the deep fulfillment and bone-marrow-joy that comes only when you know that you know when you are there.
KEY: Walk this minute in the light He has given you this minute.
KEY requires simple action: look up and check with Him.
Let me summarize:
Many call this the “Great Commission” and indeed, that is exactly what it is. But let me urge you to get your definitions and perspective from the full panorama of Jesus’ life and message, rather than from sound-byte, get-to-work motivational interpretations. That is important in regard to any subject. Get to know Him. He’s alive and more capable of communicating His Way, Truth and Life to you than anyone else. He’s also right there with you. All you have to do is turn from browsing everyone else’s insights and just read His Word, listen and talk to Him.
A good example: “to baptize” is a great word and concept, but only partially applied before Jesus took the wheel. Remember what Johanan the Baptizer said, “Yes, I baptize with water, but Yeshua the Messiah will baptize you with the Ruach HaKodesh and with fire.” What is John saying? Exactly what Matthew is recording for us in 28:19, “… immersing them into the reality of the Father, the Son and the Ruach HaKodesh.”
Our God is a consuming fire… need a bath?