The Forth Piece of the Great Commission: Teaching Jesus’ Commands
Mike’s Note: This is the fourth post in a series of posts detailing the PDBTW acronym of the Great Commission. You can read from the beginning of this series here.
We all know it when we’ve heard good, solid, Biblical teaching. As a follower of Jesus, we know that feeling of a deep satisfaction that really only comes from a time when Jesus shows up and uses the teacher to instruct us from God’s word. And I’m not talking about good preaching, and don’t get me wrong: I love good preaching. But there’s a subtle difference between the two, even if it’s a very slight difference.
John Piper has a great illustration that I think does a great job of telling us the difference. He pictures a herald riding into town, shouting from high atop his horse, “Hear ye! Hear ye! The Emperor has declared an amnesty to all slaves!” That, Piper says, is preaching: proclaiming good news, announcing something that has happened, that completely changes the situation of the listeners. But he then imagines people approaching the herald with questions. What does amnesty mean? When does this announcement take effect? Does that mean I can leave my slave master now? Will compensation be paid to masters? And so on.
At that point, Piper says, you have to start teaching: explaining the implications of the news, helping people with concepts and ideas they don’t understand, and telling people what they need to do in response, given their various situations.
In the Great Commission commands, we see both, preaching and teaching. In particular, Jesus tells us that after we’ve preached, made disciples and baptized, we’re commanded to “teach them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:20 ESV)
As we observe the Great Commission command to teach, there’s a few things to keep in mind:
1. Teach them (those we disciple) to observe all Jesus commanded them
2. Of course, this means that we know Jesus’ commands
3. This requires intentional study and Bible memorization to know and remember Jesus commands
4. As we teach, Jesus is with us. (We don’t have to do it on our own!)
As we look to the Great Commission commands, let’s not forget not only to preach, to disciple, to baptize, but also to teach. How are you doing in teaching those you’re discipling?