There were three distinct phases in Jesus’ dealings with his disciples. First he called them, then he communed with them, and then he commissioned them.
Near to the beginning of the gospel story, we find Jesus calling his disciples with the simple request, “Follow me.” They leave the lives they have known to follow in the footsteps of the Carpenter, not knowing the ultimate purpose of their call.
This was followed by a period of approximately three and a half years during which they spent almost every moment with Jesus. As he communed with them, he taught them, inspired them, and corrected them.
The final phase of Christ’s interaction with his disciples while on earth was that he commissioned them to share the Gospel and to grow the kingdom of God:
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 (Matt 28:18–20).
This was not only God’s plan for the disciples, but also for every one of his children.
God has called every one of us. God has called you. God’s call involves a call to move from where you are today to where he wants you to be. It is a call from who you are to who you always wanted to be, if only you had known.
God doesn’t call you because of your merits. He doesn’t even call you because of the potential he sees in you. That would not be love. God calls you because he values you just as you are and wants to give you true life here, and a life that lasts forever.
When God calls you, he calls you into fellowship. His desire is to commune with you. He calls you to himself:
To commune means much more than to simply spend time with one another. It means to share your life. That’s what God did with us through Jesus, during the years of his ministry on earth. That’s what Jesus did at the Cross. He took upon him your life with all of your sins, in order that his perfect life might be credited to your account.
Most people are too busy to commune with Jesus. But it is what he desperately wants to do with you.
As we enjoy fellowship with Jesus, we observe his beautiful character and experience his matchless love. We learn from him. It is all for a purpose, because he has also commissioned each one of us:
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 (Matt 28:19–20).
Called – Communed – Commissioned: It’s the life-pattern of every follower of Jesus.
Article supplied with thanks to Dr Eliezer Gonzalez.
About the Author: Dr Eli Gonzalez is the Senior Pastor of Good News Unlimited and the presenter of the Unlimited radio spots, and The Big Question. Sign up to his free online course called Becoming a Follower of Jesus to learn about Jesus and His message.