If asked, “What is the Great Commission?” most Christians would say, “to make disciples.” Many years of Jesus’ life and ministry are spent forming His disciples in Christlikeness and teaching them how to do the same for others. Jesus’ life modeled God’s mission of relationally making disciples who would worship the Father in Spirit and in truth. God wants the whole world to be full of those who worship Him, glorifying Him as they grow in the likeness of Christ and multiplying disciples among all peoples of the earth. But here is an interesting question, “Was Jesus’ life and ministry the first time God called His followers to His mission?”
Consider Genesis 1:26-28.
“Then God said, ‘Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness. They will rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, the livestock, all the earth, and the creatures that crawl on the earth.’ So God created man in His own image; He created him in the image of God; He created them male and female. God blessed them, and God said to them, ‘Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, the birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.’”
Was Jesus’ life and ministry the first time God called His followers to His mission? Multiplying God’s disciples throughout the world has always been His desire.
A couple of things look a lot like Jesus’ disciple-making ministry, even before sin entered the world. In Genesis, Adam and Eve are made in the likeness of God and told to fill the earth with people who will do the same. Disciple-making has always been part of God’s plan, even from the very beginning. After the fall, sin created a barrier between God and people that could only be removed by the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Through repentance and faith, God’s people can be about His work, filling the whole earth with those who worship Him in Spirit and in truth.
Looking back at the original question, “Was Jesus’ life and ministry the first time God called His followers to His mission?” Multiplying God’s disciples throughout the world has always been His desire. Every local church and every disciple has been commissioned to join God on His mission: to grow in Christlikeness and multiply that in others as we make disciples that make disciples to the ends of the earth. How can we follow the Genesis Great Commission?
- Understand that your time walking with God is part of being a disciple who makes disciples like Adam.
- See your discipling relationships not as a means to an end, but as the end — we were created for discipling relationships from the beginning.
- Personalize God’s vision as your vision, a world full of Christlike worshipers of God.
- Intentionally bring the gospel — God’s redemptive story which starts with God and His creating — into every conversation.
- Own the Great Commission as your mission as you personally and relationally multiply.