Disciple the nations
Today we come to the very end of the Gospel of Matthew, when the disciples meet their
risen Lord on the mountain-top where he has taught them before.
• Here, Jesus gives them his final command, to teach people everywhere the ways of
• This is his final command, because the creation of disciples is key to God’s mission to
reconcile the whole world into one community of love and service in intimate
relationship with God:
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed
them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and
said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20)
There are several interesting things to note in this passage.
• Some are worshipping Jesus and some are doubting, but all are present together, all
receive the teaching and the command.
• Where we read here, “make disciples of all nations,” the original Greek uses disciple as
a verb: “Go therefore, disciple the nations!”
• Discipling involves two things: baptizing people into the body of Christ, the
community of faith; and teaching them everything that Jesus has been teaching the
• How can they possibly carry out this command? “Remember, I am with you always,
to the end of the age.”
Questions for Reflection
Discipling is not a shallow affair, but rather a deep change within people, nurturing the
flame of Christ within them.
• Is there anyone in your immediate sphere of neighbors or family or community whom
you feel called to disciple? In how many ways, besides words, can you imagine
teaching and showing this person the ways of Christ? Perhaps this person is not
completely outside the church, but someone who has been baptized and yet has not
been discipled or has not realized the joy of discipleship.
• Picture the love that is at the heart of the Trinity. How might you mirror forth that love
in discipling someone else?
Lord, you have entrusted to the human community the discipling of people in your
image. Grant us every grace needed to carry out this work faithfully and joyfully, for
your love’s sake. Amen.