JESUS SAYS "MAKE DISCIPLES"
Scripture: Matthew 28:18-20, Mark 16:15
Memory verse: Matthew 28:19
"Therefore go and make disciples."
There are a number of things in life that makes us happy. Personally, making something is near the top of the list. During my years in secondary school, I had a class in carpentry—building things from wood. The teacher taught me how to build a small wooden table. Learning how to take a piece of rough wood, cut it, plane it, sand it, nail and glue it together, and varnish it was a great learning experience. The finished product was beautiful. I was so pleased, so happy!
You, as a student, will prepare for an exam by attending class every day, listening and participating in the class, diligently completing your homework and meeting all other requirements as instructed by the teacher. The exam is taken and the results posted. You score an "A." Great joy fills your heart because of the grade you made.
Ask: Can you think of something you made that filled your heart with joy? (Allow responses.)
This principle of "What one personally makes fills one's heart with joy" is certainly true when you lead a person to Jesus.
Hearing God's Word
Jesus' command is clear: believers are to go into all the world with a specific purpose—to make disciples. This only happens as we are intentional about fulfilling His command. We determine that this will be a primary purpose we will pursue whether at home or at school or in the market or playing football. Our goal will be to "make disciples."
Mark 16:15 states, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel." Preaching is proclaiming the truth, delivering an important message. But, in sharing the message of salvation with a friend, are we fulfilling Jesus' command? Is that all Jesus expects us to do?
Matthew 28:19 states, "Therefore go and make disciples." Jesus' command as recorded in Mark 16:15 and Matthew 28:19 are not different commands. They are one and the same; only Matthew clarifies what is meant by "preach the gospel."
Matthew understands that Jesus' intent in preaching the gospel is to "make" disciples. The definition of the word "make" is: to create by shaping or changing, to cause to exist or happen. How does one persuade, urge or convince sinners to put their faith in Jesus and be saved?
It has been said, "You can lead a donkey to water, but you cannot make him drink." However, if you take a small amount of salt and put under its tongue, the donkey will drink! This applies in "making" disciples too. Perhaps this is what Jesus meant when he taught in Matthew 5:13, "You are the salt of the earth."
Ask: How does one go about making a young person want to become a follower of Jesus Christ? (Allow responses.)
Usually the following steps are necessary:
1st - Make a decision to obey Jesus' command,
2nd - Prepare: memorize Bible verses to be shared,
3rd - Set aside time to become friends—do things together,
4th - Pray: ask the Holy Spirit to guide your thoughts and speech.
Your friends will become disciples of Jesus if you pursue them. Pursuing people requires one to overtake and capture their attention, thoughts and heart. Make this your goal.
Jesus instructs believers to make "disciples." If we are to make disciples, we should know what a disciple looks like. Let us begin by defining the word "disciple." A disciple is a pupil or adherent of another, a follower. Thus, disciples of Jesus are individuals who
- Study and learn the teachings of Jesus,
- Believe in Jesus and want to be like Him: think, feel, reason, make decisions, perceive and judge like Jesus,
- Keep their eyes on Jesus, act like Him; seek to please Him, understand and obey Him.
Ask: How can each of these objectives be achieved in your daily life?
You have been a witness to your friend by testifying to how you found Jesus as your Saviour and what Jesus means to you as a believer. Your friend has been born-again, transformed and become a child of God. Your friend is a new believer in Christ Jesus.
The new believer is like a new baby. Babies require a lot of time and attention. They need to be fed, bathed and loved. The mother and father are the primary care givers, but grandparents, uncles and aunts have an important part to play too. A loving family provides a healthy environment in which babies can grow and mature into healthy children.
New believers need a loving church family to nurture and develop their spiritual life—their relationship with Christ. The new followers of Jesus will need to prepare for baptism, be taught the importance of prayer and reading the Bible, have someone answer their questions about what it means to live a life that honours God, find fellowship with brothers and sisters in Christ, learn to tithe and receive Communion.
Discipleship is only completed when the new believer is incorporated into a local church, a worshipping body of believers. Until this happens, the new believer must be pursued. As the new believer lives for Jesus and bears good fruit, the pursuer will be filled with great joy!
Ask: How does your church incorporate and nurture new believers?
Accepting God's Word
Young people are searching for truth. You, as young believers in Christ, have a wonderful opportunity to make disciples from among your peers. Be bold. Be aggressive. But remember, you cannot do it alone.
Jesus said in John 15:5, "Apart from me you can do nothing." The Lord said in Zechariah 4:6, "Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit." Ask Jesus to guide and help you to be a good witness by the power of the Holy Spirit . You will see your friends accept Jesus as their Saviour. Pursue them and nurture them until they become a disciple of Jesus.
Present the information about the Rashaida tribe given below. Show the video, if possible.
Meet the Rashaida
Born-Again Believers: 20
SEE THE VIDEO:
The Rashaida (which means “refugee”) migrated to Eritrea and northeast Sudan from Saudi Arabia in 1846. A nomadic people, they live in tents made of goatskins and have kept their traditional dress, culture, customs, camel breeds and religion. The people purposefully isolate themselves and seldom interact with local people. The Rashaida are pure Arabs and have not intermarried, claiming to have a direct bloodline back to the prophet Muhammad.
Rashaida men are lucrative traders and carry out business with Middle Eastern countries. They run smuggling operations over the border of Eritrea into Sudan, creating tension between them and the local government as they avoid paying taxes. The racing camel breeds of the Rashaida are prized all over Sudan and the Arabian Peninsula and fetch very high prices. The people developed a steady income by renting camels to Eritrean rebels who spent 30 years fighting Ethiopia for Eritrea’s independence.
Rashaida women are famous for their black-and-red geometrically patterned dresses. Their burkas (long, heavy veils) are elaborately embroidered with silver thread, beads and sometimes seed pearls. Once a Rashaida girl reaches the age of 5, she is required to wear a veil that covers most of her face, with the exception of her eyes.
Islam is at the core of Rashaida culture, and 99.9 percent of the people profess Sunni Islam. Due to their mobile lifestyle, they worship in a family prayer house instead of a centrally located mosque. Until recently, no known Christians were numbered among the Rashaida. However, in recent years the situation has changed as hundreds of Rashaida youth were drafted into the Eritrean army during the 1998-2000 Eritrea/Ethiopia border war. The daily confrontation with danger and sharing a bunker with born-again believers gave many an opportunity to hear the gospel for the first time. In July 2000, seven known discipled believers were counted among Rashaida soldiers.
A church planting team needs to be formed to present Jesus as Saviour to the Rashaida who have known Him only as a prophet. The team will face the challenge of building a relational bridge that is necessary to give them access to a people who have traditionally resisted outsiders.
Acceptance of the team and their message will be a miracle of God. A promise in Mark 9:23 gives courage and hope: "Everything is possible for one who believes." You are invited to be a part of this miracle through prayer, financial support and personal involvement.
REMEMBER TO PRAY
Pray for the Rashaida Tribe
1. Thank God for fellow believers among the Rashaida—mostly youth,
2. Pray for Rashaida traders to come in contact with a good, vibrant follower of Jesus Christ,
3. Youth in military service to receive a clear witness of the gospel and become a friend of a genuine believer in Christ Jesus.
"And the Lord worked with them" (Mark 16:20).
Remember: JESUS SAYS "MAKE DISCIPLES"
Memory verse: Matthew 28:19
"Therefore go and make disciples."
1. Making disciples is the believer's primary purpose.
2. A new believer is like a new baby and needs constant care.
3. The local church becomes the new believer's family.
Pray for the Rashaida Tribe.
Study 6 | Jesus Says Go/We Believe | africaatts.org/go-teach