Making and Maturing Disciples of Jesus Christ
Even though Matthew 28:16-20 is a well-known passage, you may not be aware of the structure of it. This passage is often called the Great Commission, and in it we have a main command modified by three actions. The main verb, as in the KJV, is “teach all nations.” You probably know that a literal translation of this word is “make disciples.” Three other words describe how to do that—we make disciples by going, by baptizing, and by teaching. Each of these actions has the force of a command. The church is obligated to go into the world, preach the Gospel, baptize converts, and teach them to obey what Jesus said. That’s the goal of the church, and every disciple should be involved in fulfilling this goal.
If the main goal of the church is to make disciples, we better know what disciples are and how to make them. We should understand how to make and mature disciples of Christ. Let’s see what the text tells us about that great goal.