THE FORGOTTEN CALL? JESUS’ CALL TO DISCIPLESHIP IN THE BOOK OF MATTHEW AND ITS RAMIFICATIONS FOR THE CHURCH
John G. Martin Jr. D.Min.
This project addresses the question, “Why is faithful discipleship, as commanded by Jesus in the book of Matthew, necessary for the church, and what are the ramifications for failure to faithfully answer the call to discipleship?” The lack of discipleship has a twofold cause. Individual Christians are not answering the call to discipleship as Jesus commands, and the church has not been faithful in making disciples. This is addressed through the exegesis of four passages in the book of Matthew where Jesus issues a clear call to discipleship and the costs that faithful discipleship may entail for his disciples. The reasons why faithful discipleship is mandatory in order to follow Jesus are made clear. If one is not willing to follow Jesus as he commands, counting the costs he may have to count, he cannot be considered a disciple. Jesus’ call is a non-negotiable, and the ramification of ignoring it has eternal implications. The call to discipleship is also traced throughout the Bible in order to display that faithful discipleship in not a concept unique to Matthew. Even though the word “discipleship” does not appear the Bible, it is a thread woven throughout the pages of scripture. Discipleship demands obedience, and obedience has always been God’s will for his people. The contemporary problem–the lack of discipleship–is examined with a focus on the ramifications for the church. The impact of false teaching, materialism, apathy, fear of the world, and the church’s failure to make disciples are examined among the causes for the contemporary problem. This project examines solutions to the contemporary problem, as well as the positive ramifications faithful discipleship has on the church, the home, and society. This project examines what faithful discipleship looks like and how the church fulfills its mandate to make disciples.