“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
Matthew 28:18-20 ESV
I have heard that we can take the being a disciple of Jesus thing too far. That there is more to being a Christian than learning about Jesus, and trying to be like him. This statement has been made with the assumption that if we are too focused on Jesus, we will ignore the apostles, and disciples teachings. After all there are only four Gospels, and there is so much more to the New Testament than just the Gospels.
Jesus commanded his disciples to go and make more disciples. Their job was to teach others what Jesus had taught them. The Gospels give four accounts of the things Jesus taught and did, they are rich with information that the Teacher had shared with his followers. To know the Gospels is to know Jesus. To know Jesus is to know God.
The Gospels teach us how to live in a godly way. That’s not to say that the rest of the New Testament doesn’t. It certainly does. So much of the letters from the apostles, and disciples reiterate the teachings of Jesus. The letters are written to encourage the disciples, correct them, and remind them of their calling to follow Jesus. As Paul wrote to Timothy; “I hope to come to you soon, but I am writing these things to you so that, if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth.”
We will behave as we should in the household of God if we pattern our lives after the master of the house, Jesus. But, Paul knew there was always need of a reminder of what that that pattern of behavior is. Encouraging believers to be disciples of Jesus is not to dismiss the rest of the New Testament teachings, it is encouraging them to be like the master teacher.
The New Testament writings are a complete package that serves to teach the disciples of Jesus how to conduct themselves. Focusing on being a disciple of Jesus does not minimize this in any way. The great commission still stands.
© 2015 Leo J. Woodman