The last thing a person says is likely of some significance. Oscar Wilde is rumoured to have said, on his deathbed, “This wallpaper is terrible – one of us will have to go!” The wallpaper may still be there.
Jesus’ last words are the most important last words ever spoken, with a gravity certainly not matched by Wilde’s levity.
Jesus said we are to go into the world – as in, not to escape from it, and to make disciples of all people’s – as in, connect and teach and influence.
His last words are our first priority, for which he sent the Holy Spirit to help us.
The making of disciples is both decision based and process oriented. Some people response to making a choice on the spot. Others respond to time and reflection – more an osmosis salvation than the spectacular. Either way growth in Christlikeness is always a journey.
Disciple making is teaching them to do the life of Christ, and as importantly modeling the faith so that they can see it – consistently and sincerely lived out before them. Our lifestyle is a powerhouse for discipleship to people on the continuum of saving faith and a knowledge of God.
If Jesus is any indication as to the format of discipleship, which we believe he is, then what he did, the things he said, and his actions are a sure guide to what it looks like for us.
He discipled by teaching. This may be the prime methodology of Christ’s discipleship. He also discipled by lifestyle, reactions to his environment, and amongst other means, confrontation.
This is our mandate, our responsibility, and our honor – to help people live like and for Jesus – “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.”