In the closing verses of Matthew’s Gospel, following his resurrection, Jesus commissions his disciples. Jesus will be ascending soon. He won’t be bodily present for the disciples. What will following now look like? What will become of the work Jesus initiated among us? How will the good news of God’s kingdom continue to take hold?
Like this. In answer to these (unspoken) questions, Jesus says, “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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age. (Matthew 28:18-20, NRSV)”
What do we do now? Jesus says, Go and make disciples….
However, in the Greek in which the New Testament was written, the verb μαθητευσατε is not make, the verb is disciple.
This means that the Great Commission of Jesus is to disciple. That is, be one who disciples (and who is a disciple). The end product is not them, not making disciples out of others. The end product is you, being a disciple, being one who lives like a disciple, being one who disciples others (living your faith publicly) whether or not others are also made into disciples.
Reading Matthew 28 in this way, by living out Jesus’ commission, who is transformed? You are!
Of course, as others spend time with the transformed you, they, too, are transformed.