Have you ever chomped into a perfectly nice looking piece of fruit only to find it was rotten on the inside? I have. I actually became quite unwilling to eat apples for a while as a result of that. That’s the beef Jesus had with the Pharisees. They were like white washed tombs (Matt 23:27-28). They made every effort to make the outside look great while on the inside their motives stunk.
We need to think carefully about the way we seek to obey the great command of Christ to be disciple makers. We must dig down into our motivations for being disciple-makers and seek to have the same motivation that our Lord Jesus did when he went about the task.
- Jesus wept over the death of a friend (John 11:35)
- Jesus had compassion on those who were sick and those who had nothing to eat (Matt 14:13-21)
- Jesus ate with the sinners and tax collectors (Mark 2:15)
- Jesus asked God to forgive those who put him on the cross (Luke 23:34)
- Jesus died on the cross to show his great love for you. (Romans 5:8)
We cannot separate the great commission out to an isolated command. It is the very purpose of Jesus Christ himself. It is done in and through him and this means that it is done out of an abundance of love for those for whom we seek to disciple. Jesus’ way is the way of love. His discipleship is no different.
False motivations in disciple making need fighting against. To impress people. To gain greatness. To build an organisation. To increase offering levels. They cannot be our motivation when it is Jesus’ power and Jesus’ presence that fuels our disciple making. Jesus commanded it in love. He did it in love. He is love.
Do you love those you are seeking to disciple? Do you care about their life? Their needs? Their hardships? These questions uncover motives. These questions help us understand the depth to which we should go to make disciples. Beg God to help you love your community like he loves them.
Jesus help us to see and love people as you see and love people and so motivate us to action that your disciples are made and your church is built.