I find a great deal of comfort in Jesus’ words here. “We must work the works of Him who sent me.” The “we” jumps off the page at me. It is an amazing thing to think that as you are making disciples, you are actually in partnership with Jesus. There is no time that you are walking more closely in Jesus’ steps than when you are following his example by investing your life in others.
There is never a time when you are more reflecting the heart and passion of Jesus than when you are pouring your life into another person. There is a supernatural fellowship with Jesus that you experience in the trenches of disciple making that isn’t experienced anywhere else.
I believe this is why Jesus gave that wonderful promise at the end of his disciple-making commission. He had just said, “Go make disciples of all nations,” then he adds, “and I will be with you.” I can tell you that when I meet with men early in the mornings and I pour my life into them, I feel the presence of Jesus in a powerful way. I feel his pleasure. I can sense Him saying, “Craig, this is what it’s all about! Invest your life, just like I invested mine.”
Peter’s meeting with Christ
There is a church southeast of Rome that sits along the ancient highway called the Appian Way. It has been a sacred place for centuries, however, the church was built in 1637. The church is called “Domine Quo Vadis,” which means “Lord, where are you going?” According to the apocryphal Acts of Peter, a legend is told that Peter was in Rome during the outbreak of persecution against the Christians at the hand of Caesar Nero. Under the cover of night, Peter escaped Rome and was traveling down the Appian Way when he had a vision of Jesus walking toward him.
Bewildered, Peter asked him, “Domine, quo vadis?”—“Lord where are you going?” To which Jesus replied, “Eo Romam iterum crucifigi.”—“I am going to Rome to be crucified again.” Ashamed, Peter returned back to Rome, and there he was eventually captured and crucified upside down for his faith. This encounter is depicted in Annibale Carracci’s 1602 painting, “Peter’s Meeting with Christ.”
If you were to ask Jesus today, “Lord, where are you going? Where are you leading? How do you want me to walk as you have walked?” I believe his answer would be clear. “Go make disciples of all nations.”
The real question is, “Are you following?” Are you willing to give yourself to this great cause of disciple making, or are you headed in a different direction? I’m so glad that I turned around and followed Jesus into this life of investing in others. I have been forever changed.
This blog features an excerpt from one of our books, Bold Moves.