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Make Disciples – Matthew 28

In Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus’ final spoken words prioritize four actions on the part of His followers.

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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:19).

Of these four imperatives, only one is a finite verb and the other three verbs are participles whose purpose is to modify the finite verb.

The finite verb or main action is “make”. That is, Jesus sets the action to make disciples as His priority and the other tasks are done to help accomplish what is most important: going, baptizing and teaching.


In 2012, Sherry Weddell authored an especially instructive work entitled, Forming Intentional Disciples: The Path to Knowing and Following Jesus.  Explaining discipleship as a progressive process, she proposes 5 steps or thresholds toward entirely entrusting one’s life to Christ.

1. Initial Trust

Someone experiences a positive association with Jesus, the Church, or a Christian believer.

2. Spiritual Curiosity

A person wants to know more about spiritual truths and practices with an  innocent that liken a child discovering something new and has wonderment  about it.

3. Spiritual openness

A person expresses openness to the possibility of coming to know God.

4. Spiritual seeking 

A person moves to seek actively the God who is calling them. Weddell refers to this step as “dating with intention.”

5. Intentional Disciple

A person makes a conscious commitment to follow Jesus in the heart of His Church as a cheerful and obedient (listening) disciple and their life  reflects their resolution to live as Jesus’ disciple.

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