“and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” (Mt 28:20a)
To learn the deeper meaning of teaching Jesus’ disciples to obey everything he has commanded individually and in community.
Note: “Jesus’ disciples” refers to both individual disciples and a community of disciples.
Why do Jesus’ disciples need to be taught to obey his commands?
Obedience is not something that we obtain naturally but to be taught. Even Jesus had to learn obedience from what he suffered. Therefore, his disciples need to be taught and learn (Jn 8:31-32).
Jesus’ disciples are still sinners who need to be sanctified. They tend to listen to themselves, friends, or the world rather to the word of God.
When they are taught to obey, they should have a right attitude to learn obedience. They should humble themselves knowing that they have been crucified with Christ (Ga 2:20).
Who Teaches Jesus’ Disciples? (Who is qualified to teach?)
Jesus (Mt 17:5), the Holy Spirit (Ro 8:9-17), and the Words of God (2Ti 3:16)
The Apostles (Ac 2:42), shepherds, and Bible teachers.
History, tradition, and the church
What to teach or learn?
Everything Jesus has taught, not partial teachings, but the full gospel. Holistic and Gospel-centered teaching (1Co 2:2), the Commandment, the Great commission.
We do not teach different culture (Those living in different cultures?), nor church tradition, nor our standard, but the gospel.
How Disciple-Makers Should Teach Jesus’ Disciples
Like Jesus who is the Good shepherd (Jn 10:14,27)
Like a mother and a father (1Thess 2:7-12)
By showing examples (1Co 11:1; 1Pe 5:2-3)
In humility and compassion (1Co 9:22)
Be diligent, with sound doctrine (1Ti 4:15-16)
Disciple-makers lead God’s flock to Jesus (Jn 10:27), not to themselves, or to their ministry. There is no “my own sheep,” but God’s sheep, or God’s flock (Jn 21:15-17; 1Pe 5:2; Ac 20:28; Ps 100:3; Counter example: Ga 4:17; Ac 8:8-10).
How can Jesus’ disciples take their thoughts captive and make them obedient to Christ?
By the Word of God (2Ti 3:16-17)
Prayer (Mt 26:41; 1Ti 2:1-2; Heb 4:14)
Repentance (2Co 7:8-10; Rev 3:19)
By the help of the Holy Spirit (2Co 10:5; Ro 8:5-9)
What are the benefits of teaching and obeying Jesus?
We can be with him and grow to be like him. (Mt 28:20)
We can experience a sense of his presence and a conviction of his approval.
The community of Jesus’ disciples to become healthy and strengthened.
Obedience is the core of discipleship. Teaching Jesus’ disciples to obey may not be an easy task at all. However, we should prayerfully teach them to obey. As they grow to learn to obey, they may have a sense of His presence and approval, and experience true freedom in their lives (Jn 8:31-32). The community of Jesus’ disciples will be strengthened and His name will be (Jn 13:35).