The BIG IDEA
Jesus wants his followers to help people everywhere to know and follow him.
We don’t see that Jesus has given us his authority and constant presence to help people everywhere know and follow him, so we fail to join him in helping others to know and follow him.
As we realize that Jesus is God and Lord of all, is constantly with us, and loves people everywhere, we’re moved to love people with his love and help them know him.
Why THIS MATTERS
Jesus isn’t just for me and those around me. He’s for people everywhere. God wants men, women, boys, and girls from every nation to know and follow his Son. When we realize that that’s what God really wants, it changes the way we think, pray, speak and act.
I WANT MY STUDENTS TO:
- KNOW: Jesus wants people everywhere to know and follow him and he calls us all as his followers to be a part of helping make that happen.
- EXPERIENCE: Excitement that we get to be a part of something so important and far-reaching as helping people know and follow Jesus.
- DO: Pray for God to work through us so that people everywhere can know and follow Jesus. Surrender to Jesus to be willing to go, do, say, and give what he wants.
The idea box is a place where you can find some creative ideas for leading this study. You might find videos, activities, or great illustrations that really bring the main point home. The ideas come from small group leaders like you, so if you have an idea that isn’t in there, click below to share it with the community!
*WHAT DO YOU THINK?
If Jesus appeared to you and told you to do something, how would you respond and why?
Allow the group to discuss. If it doesn’t come out naturally in the discussion, help your group see what a big deal it would be for Jesus–God in human form–to come to you and tell you to do something. Because he is God, it would make sense to do what he says. Because he’s God, it would also be an honor to do what he’s asking you to do.
As you begin this study, set the scene for your group. Jesus had risen from the dead three days after dying a brutal death to take the punishment we deserved for our sins. He told his closest followers to meet him on a mountain. He appeared to them and told them something very important he wanted them and all his followers to do. As you lead this study, help your group understand that Jesus’ words (commonly called “The Great Commission”) apply as much to them as to his followers who first heard them.
WHAT DOES GOD SAY ABOUT THIS?
1. Read Matthew 28:16–17. Why do you think Jesus’ followers respond the way they do (verse 17)?
Allow the group to discuss. They worship him because they know he is God. He proved that by raising from the dead. But others are doubtful, likely because they’ve never seen someone return from the dead three days after dying.
*2. Read Matthew 28:18–20. What does Jesus tell his followers to do?
He tells them to go (step outside themselves) and make disciples (followers of Jesus) among all nations (which refers to the world’s several thousand ethnic groups as well as the 200 or so countries of the world). He also tells them to baptize these followers and teach them everything Jesus has taught them.
3. Baptism is a way of identifying publicly as Jesus’ follower. Why do you think Jesus wants his followers to be baptized (verse 19)?
Allow the group to discuss. Being baptized firms up a person’s commitment to Jesus. It’s a way of saying to the world that someone belongs to him.
4. What might be some reasons Jesus wants his followers to teach new followers of Jesus to do everything he had commanded them (verse 20)?
Allow the group to discuss. Since Jesus is God and offers us the best life possible, it makes sense to do everything he says. Doing everything he says includes helping others follow him, which eventually spreads the good news about him everywhere.
*5. Why do you think Jesus wants his followers to help people in all nations to follow him, not just people from their own nation (verse 19)?
Allow the group to discuss. Jesus is so amazing and died for people from every nation, so it only makes sense for people from every nation to have the chance to know and follow him.
*6. Jesus tells his followers that all authority in heaven and earth belongs to him (verse 18) and that he’s always with them (verse 20). What difference do you think these things make for Jesus’ followers as they help others follow him?
Allow the group to discuss. Since Jesus is God and is the ultimate authority, no one can rightly come up to one of his followers and say, “You can’t tell people about Jesus” when they’re helping someone else follow him. Also, since he is always with them through the Holy Spirit, Jesus’ followers always have access to his help, guidance, and power as they help others to follow him.
HOW DO WE APPLY THIS TO OUR LIVES?
*7. How does it feel to know that Jesus–the King of the universe and the most amazing person ever–has called you to help people everywhere know and follow him?
Allow the group to discuss. Help your group appreciate what a big deal this is and what a privilege it is to introduce people around the world to the most amazing person ever! Help your group to see that we have this privilege with people all over the world, not just with those around us with the same background as us. You may find it helpful to explain The 10/40 Window (a rectangle on the map of the world between 10 degrees north and 40 degrees north latitude that is home to the most ethnic groups with the least access to the good news of Jesus Christ).
8. What examples do you know about churches, Christian organizations, and missionaries helping people know about Jesus around the world?
- What would be exciting about going to another part of the world to tell people about Jesus?
- What would be scary about this?
- What would make it worth the trouble?
Allow the group to discuss. Lead your group in thinking of examples to these questions. If necessary to help discussion of the first question, show this VIDEO about an organization called the Jesus Film Project. Remind the group that the best way to help people in other places know Jesus is to have a servant attitude and to look for ways to partner with and learn from people who are already there.
*9. How can you as a student live out Jesus’ command to make disciples of all nations (not just people with the same background as you)?
Allow the group to discuss. Some things to bring up:
1) Making it a point to help people from backgrounds different than your own to become followers of Jesus.
2) Praying for God’s word to spread throughout the world, not just in your own location.
3) Taking advantage of opportunities to go on trips with Cru or your church that focus on helping people know and follow Jesus.
4) Working to earn money to help others (sometimes called “missionaries”) tell people about Jesus.
10. What difference does it make for you personally to know that Jesus has all authority and that he’s always with you as you seek to live out his command to help others follow him?
Allow the group to discuss. Help your group see that these things can give us great confidence to step out in faith and help others follow him, even if it means going to another part of the world. Close your time by praying that Jesus would give you this confidence and work through you to help people everywhere follow him.
Our review cards are an excellent way to review your past lessons with your students before each study. Not every lesson has one yet but if we have them, you can find them on the PRINT page. Check them out and use them each week to help your students grab hold of the truths in these studies.
What ideas do you have that could improve this study? Are there creative things you do to bring this topic home to your students? Please share with the community clicking the FEEDBACK button or leaving a comment below.