16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Known as “The Great Commission”, Jesus instructed his closest followers to go and make disciples. This instruction carries down to the present day, but so many followers of Christ today (including me) believe that making disciples means “telling” people instead of “teaching” them. Telling is easy, and does not carry much weight. Teaching requires much more. It requires trust, and trust is formed through time and patience. Ephesians 4:2 says “be humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.” Why are we instructed to “bear with one another”? Because we can all be unbearable sometimes, we can all be hard to love at certain times. But if we allow Ephesians 4:2 to guide our interactions with people the foundation will be set for teaching to happen. When people know that we care about them, then our stories, our beliefs, our lives and our Savior become much more real to them, and we can teach them instead of just telling them.
Jesus was not known as a great teller, but a great teacher. But before He taught the disciples, He loved them. We need to do the same. Here’s a suggestion; run through a mental list of people you know. Ask God to point someone out to you who needs to know Him. Then go and love that person. Be humble, be gentle, be patient, bear with that person – in love.