Someone paraphrased some of Chris Wright’s presentations on the ‘Great Commission’ as pure Deuteronomy. I like it. I like it because obedience, particularly in Deuteronomy was not just about following a set of rules, but in fact, imitating the very nature of God. In Deuteronomy chapter 10 it meant imitating both justice and compassion. This specifically was a foreshadowing of Jesus’ instructions.
And now, Israel, what does the Lord your God require of you, but to fear the Lord your God, to walk in all his ways, to love him, to serve the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, and to keep the commandments and statutes of the Lord, which I am commanding you today for your good? Behold, to the Lord your God belong heaven and the heaven of heavens, the earth with all that is in it. Yet the Lord set his heart in love on your fathers and chose their offspring after them, you above all peoples, as you are this day. Circumcise therefore the foreskin of your heart, and be no longer stubborn. For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great, the mighty, and the awesome God, who is not partial and takes no bribe. He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing. Love the sojourner, therefore, for you were sojourners in the land of Egypt. – Deuteronomy 10:12-19 ESV
One may want to argue that this has nothing to do with the Great Commission but I think that it would be hard to object how we are naturally linked to the Lordship of Jesus. Jesus commands and actions to show compassion on the poor is only echoed here. This is who God is and what He does.
The foundation and essence of my life as a follower of Jesus means that I follow Him with all that I am and hold nothing back. Deuteronomy challenges me in the area of my financial life as it declares it inseparable from my worship. To be a lover of God is to be a giver. To be filled with the Spirit is to be filled with the very essence of our generous God.
You shall tithe all the yield of your seed that comes from the field year by year. And before the Lord your God, in the place that he will choose, to make his name dwell there, you shall eat the tithe of your grain, of your wine, and of your oil, and the firstborn of your herd and flock, that you may learn to fear the Lord your God always. – Deuteronomy 14:22-23 ESV
I find myself coming back to the standard definition of a disciple as someone who adheres to the teachings of another – a follower or a learner – someone who takes up the ways of someone else. When I apply it to my walk with Jesus, I am someone who learns from Him in order to live like Him. My aim is to become a “little Christ” – a Christian.
And Agrippa said to Paul, “In a short time would you persuade me to be a Christian? – Acts 26:28 ESV