Updated: Jan 6, 2021
Continuing our discussion on the four callings of Jesus, the fourth and final stage of disciplemaking with the twelve (or, really, the eleven!) begins in the Upper Room at His last supper with them and ends on the Mount of Ascension 43 days later. I call this His call to COMMUNION AND MISSION. He calls the disciples to "abide in Me." He calls them to oneness with Him by dying completely to themselves and abiding in Him, because apart from Him, they can do nothing. He calls them to multiply by being to others what He has been to them: He calls them to be disciplemakers. In this way, they will glorify God and prove to be His Disciples. Here are the various ways Jesus says this to them -- and to us:
"I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is thrown away as a branch and dries up; and they gather them, and cast them into the fire and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. My Father is glorified by this, that you bear much fruit, and so prove to be My disciples. Just as the Father has loved Me, I have also loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love; just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full." John 15:5-11
"You did not choose Me but I chose you, and appointed you that you would go and bear fruit and that your fruit would remain, so that whatever you ask of the Father in My name He may give to you.” John 15:16
So Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you; as the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” John 20:21
So when they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me more than these?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Tend My lambs.” He said to him again a second time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” He said to Him, “Yes, Lord; You know that I love You.” He said to him, “Shepherd My sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love Me?” Peter was grieved because He said to him the third time, “Do you love Me?” And he said to Him, “Lord, You know all things; You know that I love You.” Jesus said to him, “Tend My sheep.” John 21:15-17
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
I mentioned that this fourth stage was just 43 days in Jesus’ life on earth. But think about this: how long was it in the lives of the Disciples? The answer is, “The rest of their lives!” Everything to which Jesus called them in His fourth call would direct and empower all their priorities and plans, all their personal relationships and prosperity, and all the places to which they would go for the rest of their lives. Right up to the terrible ways most of them would die. That is what Jesus meant to them. That is Who He was to them. They knew they were not their own, that they had been bought with a price, the life of their Savior, Lord, Master, and King.
Is He any less to us, to you and to me? In our next blog, we will conclude our discussion on the 4 Calls of Jesus.