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.
I’ve been thinking about this passage a bit recently. It is used a lot. A verse that describes the mission brief that Jesus left first for those who had followed him and then on to each generation.
And it is a crazy thing to be asked to do. Therefore go. Go. Go away from this holy land that your ancestors took so long getting to and building. Go. Leave the land you have been promised. Go away from the temple where your God lives. Go from your homes, from your families. Go.
And make disciples of all nations. No longer is this message just for one nation. Go to all nations and all people.Leave not only the place where you are comfortable but also leave the culture you are comfortable with. Go to all nations. You have been blessed to be a blessing.
There are then stories about how the disciples went about carrying out this command. They sold everything they owned and shared everything. They practiced equality among people from different backgrounds. They equipped and sent out missionaries. They took opportunities that they were given to share the gospel with everyone they came across. They spoke to leaders, they spoke to groups of women meeting at the river, they met in the homes of the wealthy, they sang praises in jail.
They changed. They adapted. They moved.
They disagreed and held meetings to seek God’s will in new situations – decisions about big changes to things they had held onto as solid parts of their faith such as circumcision. And then they left it behind.
And then I think about this generation, about me. Sometimes we think about where it is we have to go but sometimes I think where do I need to go from? What do I need to go away from? What is it that I hold dear? Can people still be disciples if they don’t believe or do something I feel is important? Can I change? Can I adapt?