Saturday, January 22, 2005

On Being A Disciple

More from transforming mission:
'For Matthew, then, being a disciple means living out the teachings of Jesus, which the evangelist has recorded in great detail in his gospel. It is unthinkable to divorce the Christian life of love and justice from being a disciple. Discipleship involves a commitment to God's reign, to justice and love, and to obedience to the entire will of God. Mission is not narrowed down to an activity of making individuals new creatures, of providing them with "blessed assurance" so that, come what may, they will be "eternally saved". Mission involves, from the beginning and as a matter of course, making new believers sensitive to the needs of others, opening their eyes and hearts to recognise injustice, suffering, oppression, and the plight of those who have fallen by the wayside. It is unjustifiable to regard the "Great Commission" as being concerned primarily with "evangelism" and the Great Commandment" as referring to "social involvement". As Jacques Matthey puts it,

"According to Matthew's "Great Commission", it is not possible to make disciples without telling them to practice God's call of justice for the poor. The love commandment, which is the basis for the church's involvement in politics, is an integral part of the mission commandment."

To become a disciple means a decisive and irrevocable turning to both God and neighbour. What follows from there is a journey which, in fact, never ends in this life, a journey of continually discovering new dimensions of loving God and neighbour, as "the reign of God and his justice" are increasingly revealed in the life of the disciple.

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