Disciples Are Sent
Jesus closes His time on the earth with this instruction, this commission, this commandment as it is called, to go and preach and make disciples. Who was His audience? His closest disciples whom He had earlier called friends. These had previously been related to Him as students and as servants, and as their relationship had grown closer, more intimate, He called them friends. One cannot take such a name on themselves. We sometimes use the term “friend” too lightly. In the letter to the Hebrews, it says He is not ashamed to call us His brothers. Friend is close to being family. This is the progression we seek, to be truly part of God’s family, in thought, word, and deed. Maturity is a fullness of oneness with Him. He desires it and works in us toward that goal, more than we sometimes are aware.
The disciples had spent three years of intense training with the Lord Jesus. We have written earlier about the need for time in God’s presence. Training through relationship is essential and time must be invested. Time is our greatest investment. May the Lord teach us to number our days that we may acquire wisdom. In Western, especially American, culture we number our hours and even minutes. We are prisoners too often of our watches. Smith Wigglesworth declared that when Jesus was crucified and raised from the dead, time ended and eternity began. I believe that. We, as His people, need to move in that direction so that He holds and directs our hours and minutes.
No absolute time frame exists for our training before He may send us. The simple point is again to emphasize that we must first hear His call to Himself, and then to hear Him send us. Otherwise we should not move outside of those clear responsibilities of family and neighbors and communities. Family is our training and proving ground. It was so for Jesus. What did He do until He was 30? Certainly we also grow in every interaction outside of the family walls. How do we relate to coworkers, people on the street, drivers on the road? We typically begin our assignments from the Lord Himself in our personal Jerusalem. To some who wanted to follow Him, Jesus sent them to the places they had been living, or to the priests as a testimony.
Are we following the Lamb of God wherever He leads us? First, the disciples, and we as the same, followed Him. They watched, they learned. They would not have thought of going anywhere else but to be near Him. That did not change after Pentecost. Those who are led by the Spirit, they are the sons of God. For myself, I want to follow the Lamb wherever He leads. In the process, I have found, He leads us to the Father. When we arrive there, we behold His glory. This can be ever increasing. That is His intention. Jesus said He wants to bring His disciples to the Father. Once there, they are disciplined by Him as sons. At the throne we are made to be more and more like that first born of many sons, to be like Jesus. Then the Father sends us with, in, and filled by His Spirit to do His will. To do whatever He shows us, tells us, to do.
He who wills to do His will, that one will know when the motivation is from Him. We all have anointing, that is those who recognize Jesus as one who was sent Himself by God to bring us back to the One who is our Father. Why would anyone not want to say yes to that? But, each of us, at some time or another, has resisted that. Something we saw as true was too hurtful, too costly to buy by simply saying yes to Him. Buy the truth and sell it not is the King James version of an exhortation. You search it out if you want to find and read it for yourself. Whatever it costs you is not worth keeping in comparison to where He will take you in this life. And it will add to what you gain for that life beyond this one. Disciples are those who learn of Him and are sent. Come to Him and He will teach you, and send you. Then we all learn something more. The son learns by the things He allows. Allow is another word for “suffer.” Think on that.