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Tuesday November 20 – Jesus fulfills Israel’s mission (5): Go, make disciples!

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations. – Matthew 28:19a

Scripture reading: Matthew 28:16-20

Until He returns, Jesus has given His church the identity of being a light to the nations. This is not, first of all, something we do, but a matter of who we are. Missions is not simply a category of the church’s life; rather, the mission God has given us is our identity, our very reason for existing as His people in this world. In Matthew 28, Jesus describes the reasons and purpose for which we are in the world:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Mt 28:19–20).

This is not a matter of having missions and evangelism as a part of the church’s life. It is, rather, the whole reason we exist: to disciple the nations. This task does not end the moment someone becomes a Christian. Rather, the task of learning to be a disciple, to follow Jesus faithfully, lasts one’s entire life. And the work is not done until all people, all nations, all communities have heard the good news and the call to follow Jesus.

This is why we are here; this is who we are; this is our purpose until Jesus returns. We are to disciple the nations, because that is what God promised Abraham, what He fulfilled in Jesus, and that is the mission He now gives to us.

Suggestions for prayer

That God would help our sense of identity as God’s missional people to grow and flourish and that our mission would be fruitful for His kingdom.

This daily devotional is available in a print edition you can buy at Nearer to God Devotional. Nick Smith is pastor of the United Reformed Church of Nampa, Idaho.

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