There is another reason to get excited about making disciples. It is my favorite reason for making disciples. Luke tells us beginning in verse 21…
In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight. 22 All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows who the Son is except the Father, and who the Father is except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him.”
23 Then He turned to His disciples and said privately, “Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see; 24 for I tell you that many prophets and kings have desired to see what you see, and have not seen it, and to hear what you hear, and have not heard it.”
Why do I love making disciples? Why is God calling you to make disciples? Because…
Disciple making brings joy to the heart of Jesus.
I want to bring joy to the heart of my Jesus. Growing up I was always used to seeing those pictures of Jesus that looked so solemn and pensive. My mom even put one in my bedroom. It was a portrait styled picture that no matter where you were in the room the eyes of Jesus looked like they were looking directly at you. I think she did that to keep my brother and I out of trouble.
What picture of Jesus did you grow up with? Luke paints a picture of Jesus in verse 21 that I know will challenge some of your pictures of Jesus! Luke says, “In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit…” Ok CJ, what is so challenging with that? Well it’s not so challenging until you look up that word rejoiced in the Greek. The Greek word for rejoiced is "agalliao". The literal definition of the word is to "jump for joy, to exalt, to be exceedingly glad with exceeding joy, to rejoice greatly". The word agalliao comes from another primary root word, which means "to jump, to leap, to spring up". Pastor Jacquie Kirkwood says, “Can you picture this? The Lord got so excited in the Holy Ghost that He leapt up and began to jump for joy and to be not just glad, but exceedingly glad with GREAT joy! Rejoice is a word used in the Old Testament quite a bit too. Psalm 13:5b-6 says My heart shall rejoice in Thy salvation. I will sing to the Lord because He has dealt bountifully with me. The Hebrew word here for rejoice corresponds to the Greek agalliao. The Hebrew definition for rejoice is "to spin around (under the influence of any violent emotion), to rejoice, be glad, be joyful".
Can you imagine the scene? The 70 disciples return with joy. Then Jesus leaps or jumps for joy! Why are they so excited? Why is Jesus and the disciples rejoicing? Because souls are being saved! The sick are being healed! People are coming to Jesus and their names are being written in heaven! Friends, if you want to bring joy to the heart of Jesus, then get involved in making disciples for Jesus Christ! Now I know that some people are intimidated about going and making disciples. You may be saying to yourself, “I am not a pastor or an evangelist. I can’t bring someone to Christ. Isn’t that the pastors job?” The truth of the matter is that the pastor is not the only minister in the church! Every member, every disciple, every Christian is commissioned by Christ to go and make disciples. Every member is a minister! What’s even more amazing is that God believes you can do it. He believes in you! He has designed soul winning to be the very joy of your Christian experience! It was the joy of Jesus experience. Jesus felt so much joy that He jumped, because souls where being drawn to Him.
Does Jesus jump? The bible says in Zephaniah 3:17 …
17 The LORD your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.” Just imagine God rejoicing over you with singing. Nothing makes Him rejoice more than when men and women, filled with the Holy Ghost, pursue the mission of God on the earth and make disciples. It touches the very heart of God!
Friends, lets not assume that everyone in your neighborhood is a disciple of Jesus Christ. Lets not assume that everyone your city is a disciple of Jesus Christ. Let’s not assume that people living in your zip code is a disciples of Jesus Christ. Don’t assume that the people in neighboring cities are all disciples of Jesus. Let’s not assume, dare I say it, that because someone attends church that they are a disciple of Jesus Christ. One may even bare the name Seventh-day Adventist Christian and may not be a disciple of Jesus Christ. First, I want to say to you that you make sure that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ. Then I want you to hear the voice of Jesus calling to your heart today saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations…”
Friends, in doing so, you will bring joy to the heart of Jesus. Amen.