Jesus had an important assignment from His Father. That was to train a set of people to train others. Jesus described this assignment when He was speaking with His Father. We are privileged to read the intimate conversation in John 17. It starts with Jesus’ request to return to His former place.
Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You, as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.” (v.1-2)
Jesus then explained how eternal life was to be obtained.
“And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.” (V.3)
Jesus then reported that He had finished His assignment.
“I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do. And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.” (v.4-5)
Note that this assignment was finished BEFORE He was crucified for all of humanity. What was this work that God gave Him to do? We do not need to speculate. Jesus explained it Himself.
“I have manifested Your name to the men whom You have given Me out of the world. They were Yours, You gave them to Me, and they have kept Your word. Now they have known that all things which You have given Me are from You. For I have given to them the words which You have given Me; and they have received them, and have known surely that I came forth from You; and they have believed that You sent Me.” (V.6-8)
To ensure that this assignment would be sustained, Jesus would later instruct his followers exactly what they should do. They were to train others (make disciples). He also instructed them on the training manual, namely Jesus’ own commandments – which He had received from His Father. Hear Jesus.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)
If we want to follow Jesus, then we should submit to the discipline of Jesus’ training, while we cultivate a relationship with “the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent”.
Be encouraged on your training journey, and please do not be distracted by those who choose not to grow.