Matthew 28:16-20
Open your mind and heart as you read the passage of Scripture aloud and then again quietly to
yourself. Listen for God’s word to you.

Matthew does not record Jesus’ visits in Jerusalem after His resurrection. The scene takes
place somewhere in Galilee. It was probably a familiar spot where they had spent time with Jesus before. It is interesting to note that, in spite of all that the disciples had witnessed some still doubted who they were seeing. Doubt is a natural reaction which m a n y p e o p l e e x p e r i e n c e . However, as the disciples realised that this was, in fact, the risen Jesus, they worshipped Him.

The prophet Daniel had seen Jesus as the Son of Man receiving authority from the Ancient of Days (Daniel 7:14). Jesus has now received that authority over the whole of creation and the Church and He informs the eleven disciples of the fact. The words that followed are a command rather than a request or suggestion to these ordinary men. Men like Peter, who so often spoke and acted spontaneously, Thomas, who was still unsure until he touched Jesus’ wounded hands, and all the others with their human traits. Men who were no different from those of us who follow Christ today.

Jesus’ command uses two words of action – ‘go’ and ‘make’ – thus summing up the nature of being a disciple. Those who follow Christ are not called to sit in pews or classrooms and study, gaining increasing knowledge about Jesus for themselves, but to go out to tell others what they both learn and experience. Failure to obey this command leads to a sin of rejecting what God tells His people to do.

Making disciples is not the same as drawing people to a place of conversion to Christ. Disciples
submit their whole being, heart, soul and mind to the Lordship of Jesus Christ. Making disciples
involves training and teaching, guiding and supporting those who are new in the Christian faith.
Jesus promises He will be with all who do this work and empowers and equips those who follow
His commands in the fulfillment of His commission.

In addition, Jesus commanded that the disciples to go to all nations, so that the Good News of the Gospel would reach beyond the Jewish nation. (Jesus Himself had focused on the Jewish nation – now the spread of the Word was to become universal to all the other nations of the world.) And so lives are transformed.

This is the most exciting, urgent and necessary task in the world. Those who follow this command have the authority of God Himself, the ability to reach the whole world and the assurance of eternal consequences, through the equipping and power of the constant presence of Jesus Christ.

What was your impression of Gracepoint (or your church if you worship elsewhere) when
you came for the very first time? What made you want to return? How do you pass that
experience on to others today so they feel they belong to the family of the Jesus Christ here?

• During these days of limited movement and access to communal places, what do you do to
gather with other Christians? How do you feel about this new way of gathering? Does it
satisfy your need for community? How could you improve it?
• Life is messy. How comfortable are you in the messy parts of church life? What does messy
mean to you? How does the concept of being in a divine dance with God help/not help you
in these places? Why do you respond in this way?
• How do you define discipleship? What does the word – and the lifestyle – mean to you?
Would you describe yourself as a disciple? Why/why not?
• How do you show people you are a disciple of Jesus Christ? Does this vary from one group
of people to another – eg, your work colleagues, the way you behave at your gym or sports
club, in the middle of a family gathering? How does your witness change from one group to
another? How does it impact the group you are with?
• The command to ‘go’ involves a journey, rather than a destination. Where are you ‘going’ at
the moment in your efforts to fulfill Christ’s command? How has this changed since the
• pandemic began? How effective do you think your journey is? What part does Christ play
in your going?
• How does Church (Gracepoint and any other church) have to change to meet the needs of
• today’s society in order to become a place of healing and hope, love, acceptanceand
learning to become a space where all people can experience the love of God? What can you
do to help bring that change about?
• How can the group help you with the struggles you have mentioned during this session?

Pray for one another in regard to the issues that have been raised during your discussion time, and in regard to other needs of the group. Pray also for people who are doubting in any way that they may find the peace and assurance of belonging to the family of God.

Reach out to those around you. Show them in some way you are a disciple of Jesus Christ and help them on their own journey to discipleship. Report back to the group next week.

Adeyomo, Tokunhoh, et al. Africa Bible Commentary. WordAlive Publishers, Nairoi, Kenya, 2006
Barclay, William. The Daily Study Bible: The Gospel of Matthew Volume 2 Chapters 11-28. The Saint Andrew Press,
Edinburgh 1993

Matthew Chapter 28

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