Thursday 03 June 2021

Bible Book:

“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. (vs 19-20)

Matthew 28:16-20 Thursday 3 June 2021

Psalm 150


The words “go therefore and make disciples of all nations” are among the most often quoted and remembered words of the New Testament. They are mostly applied to the very particular work of overseas mission or evangelism.

These words apply to everyday discipleship of all the followers of Jesus, not only missionaries and evangelists, in every nation, at home and abroad, not occasionally, but always.

It is more accurate to interpret “go” to read “as you go about your daily life”, as you conduct your conversations. The best conversations are a two-way process of sharing what you bring, and listening to what others bring. Conversations are best if they embody mutual respect, and a willingness to listen and learn. All contributors to a conversation have something to offer.  If one party doesn't contribute,  a conversation becomes a monologue, which can be off-putting.

Individual conversions are not mentioned in this passage. To “disciple the nations” is a challenge to bring all people and communities and nations under the spotlight and direction of the teachings of the Gospel of Christ. One task this presents to followers of Jesus is to scrutinise national and international policies in the light of gospel values. This requires sustained, deep study and reflection, including working with people of different nations, faiths and disciplines.

The word “therefore” suggests that the instruction of verse 19 follows all that has been written in the words up to this point. The whole of the Gospel according to Matthew has to be taken into account, and this should be part of the study and reflection to be undertaken. This includes the recognition of the wisdom of the people from afar represented, for example, by those who came from “the East” (2:1).

To Ponder:

  • What are the values of the Gospel of Christ by which the nations are discipled?


God of all, guide and inspire my daily conversations so that they are embedded in the willingness to listen and learn from others, as well as to share the wisdom I bring. Amen.

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