Wednesday after Rogate
Scripture: St. Matthew 28:16-20 (NKJV)
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
“Go therefore and make disciples…teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you.”
“Making disciples” for Christ is not just a matter of filling the seats or pews. Nor is it just a matter of people making a stated decision. Making disciples of Jesus Christ is to have people hear and learn the Word of God as it is faithfully taught and preached in the Church.
Our Lord connects discipleship with baptism, which means it also is connected with the work of His Word and His Holy Spirit. That is why the integrity of the Church’s public confession in teaching and practice is so important. The Church is sent to proclaim the whole truth of God, to teach those who hear to observe all that Christ commands. We are made part of the work that His Word and His Spirit does, because it is only through Him that we have life and salvation.
It is a dangerous and misguided situation when people ignore or compromise God’s teachings in the name of “greater outreach.” Failing to teach the whole truth of Christ’s commands is not justified by superficial statistics. “Any means necessary” or “bait-and-switch” tactics do great harm because the focus and work is not on our Lord’s Word, but on man’s foolish efforts.
True discipleship is a great blessing that only comes from God. By His gifts and His power we are made to hear the voice of the Good Shepherd, and we are all made part of the one flock that abides in His saving truth.
We pray: Lord God, continue to bless us with Your Word and Spirit, and strengthen us according to them so we may always do and confess all that our Savior has taught us. In Jesus Christ. Amen.