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We are Missionaries Here: The Great Omission
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunesso that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you.4 Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. “I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love. If you keep my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commands and remain in his love. I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.
Questions for Reflection
- If the Great Commission is our call to baptize and make disciples "to the ends of the earth" (Matthew 28), what do you think we have under-emphasized? In other words, where have we gone wrong in fulfilling this call? Is it evangelising? Is it baptizing? Is it discipling?
- Read John 15. Do you think being a disciple and "abiding" or "remaining" in Jesus have anything in common? What's the biggest challenge in truly discipling others to grow and mature into the image of Christ? It took Jesus three years with some of His disciples. Do we need to spend that long intentionally discipling or shepherding others? Should we?
- Think of a time in your life where someone had a big impact on you (how you saw the world, how you behaved, what you liked or desired, how you felt about yourself, etc). Why was their influence so profound or impactful? Read John 13:1-15. How did Jesus have an impact on His close followers? Should we use this method when we disciple? Why, or why not?