Junior/Teen Study Guide
Day 5 - The Greater Commission
“Good evening,” Mr. Malku said. “Welcome to another Change Agents Group meeting. How was your week?”
“It was awesome,” Stephen said. “Building the birdhouses was fun!’
“That was a great idea, Drake,” Mr. Malku said. “Did you each get a chance to hang your birdhouse somewhere?”
Each of the group members nodded. “I put mine behind the church,” Drake said, “in the trees next to the parking area. My dad said it was ok.”
“Very good,” Mr. Malku said. “I hope the rest of you all asked permission.”
Again everyone nodded.
“Other than the birdhouses,” Mr. Malku said, “How did you guys reveal the children of God to Creation?”
“Melissa and I,” Chloe said, “planted some flower seeds around all the trees at school. Next Spring they are going to surprise everyone!”
“That’s a great example,” Mr. Malku said. “Good job, girls!”
Mrs. Malku’s voice sang from the kitchen, “Dinner is served!”
“And the Kingdom is growing!” The group yelled as they flocked to the table.
After prayer and a few bites of food, Mr. Malku asked, “Who has been challenged to conquer a fear?”
“What kind of fear?” Nic asked.
“Something you thought you couldn’t do,” Mr. Malku said.
“When I was a kid,” Drake said, “I always wanted to be a rock climber. But I was afraid of heights.”
“You’re a great rock climber!” Nic said, “How did you do it?”
“I started with small climbs,” Drake said. “And my coach taught me to trust the ropes by hanging on them and doing practice falls.”
“Wow,” Mr. Malku said. “That’s great. Anyone else conquered a fear?”
“I used to be scared of old people,” Stephen said.
Everyone giggled. “It’s true,” he continued. “When I’d see them in the shops, I would run and hide.”
“How did you overcome it?” Chloe asked.
“Yeah,” Nic said, “You seem to handle my dad just fine!”
A roar of laughter went around the table as Mr. Malku threw his hands up and said, “Hey, thanks a lot!”
“My dad started taking me to visit my grandpa,” Stephen said. “He lived in an old-folks home. I played games with my grandpa and he told me stories. After a few weeks I realized all old people were somebody else’s grandpa or grandma. And that fixed it.”
“Very good,” Mr. Malku said. “Jesus gave His disciples a challenge that must have seemed impossible to them. Tonight we’re going to talk about that challenge because it has been given to us as well.”
“Because we are disciples too,” Chloe said.
“That’s right,” Mr. Malku said. “Does anyone know what the challenge Jesus gave to His disciples is called?”
“The Great Commission,” Liam said. “He said it right before He went up to heaven.”
“Excellent memory!” Mr. Malku said. “Let’s have a look at the Great Commission and the first commission Jesus gave the disciples as He was training them.”
“He gave them two?” Shane asked.
“He sure did,” Mr. Malku said. “Let’s clear the table and head back into the lounge room. Then we can explore both of them.”
Group Interaction Time
Read Matthew 28:18-20.
At the beginning and end, when Jesus mentions Himself, what does He promise?
What do these two promises (before and after the great commission!) do for your faith?
How should these three verses impact our boldness in living and speaking like Jesus?
When Jesus said, “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you,” what commands was He talking about?
Read Matthew 10:5-8.
Jesus sent His disciples to those who knew God first. What words did He tell them to say?
What acts did He tell them to do? How have you seen your church—both local and global—demonstrating these words and deeds?
How could we live these deeds and speak these words in our everyday lives?
“So long before He gave them the Great Commission,” Liam said, “Jesus taught them how to do miracles?”
“Looks that way,” Mr. Malku said. “And He promised we will do even greater things!”
“That’s insane,” Nic said. “Can you imagine if we were walking around healing the sick and raising the dead? We’d be on the news every night!”
“Maybe that’s why Jesus said He would be back soon,” Shane said.
“Yeah,” Melissa said, “because if the disciples kept doing miracles like that after He left, the whole world would have known really fast!”
“So what happened?” Mr. Malku asked, “Why didn’t their evangelism change the whole world in a generation?”
“Evangelism?” Drake said. “Evangelism is preaching. Not doing miracles. I know, I’ve sat through my share of evangelism.”
“Is that what happened?” Liam asked. “Did evangelism change from deeds to words?”
“Fairly quickly,” Shane said. “Quick enough that the Good News of Jesus’ miraculous resurrection from the dead didn’t make it all the way around the world before the disciples died.”
“But they made more disciples,” Mr. Malku said, “just as Jesus told them to do.”
“I guess so,” Nic said. “Or there would be no church at all now.”
“True,” Mr. Malku said. “And I don’t think we should be so hard on the disciples. They did their best. Jesus knew it was going to be a long job. That’s why He taught them to make more disciples.”
“We’re disciples,” Chloe said, “because we do things for Jesus in our Change Agents Group and at church.”
“We sure are,” Mr. Malku said. “And how are we participating in the Great Commission Jesus gave? Are we making disciples, teaching what Jesus taught and baptizing those who believe?”
“I’ve been baptized,” Nic said. “So have lots of us.”
“I’m thinking about it,” Stephen said. “Because I do believe in Jesus and want to be part of His Kingdom.”
“That’s awesome!” Nic said. The rest of the group clapped and cheered for Stephen.
Stephen looked at Mr. Malku and said, “Mr. Malku, you’re a disciple maker, aren’t you? I mean, I wouldn’t be making this decision if you weren’t running Change Agents for us. So you’re making disciples, just like Jesus said.”
“That’s kind of you to say, Stephen.” Mr. Malku smiled, “I believe God wants me to disciple my children. That’s why we started this group. It allows Liam, Nicholas, and Chloe to be part of something faith-filled that involves them at their level. I’m glad all the rest of you keep coming back!”
“Well, I love it!” Melissa said. “And you’re my disciple maker, too!”
“What about the other part of the commission,” Mr. Malku asked. “How are we practicing and teaching what Jesus practiced and taught?”
“By making a difference in the world,” Stephen said. “Just like Jesus made a difference.”
“And we talk to people who we help,” Chloe said. “When people get hurt and we care for them, they want to know why we care. So we tell them.”
“We tell them,” Melissa continued Chloe’s thought, “That we love them because Jesus loves them. And we want them to be well because Jesus wants them to be well.”
“This all sounds like a perfect utopia,” Drake said. “But it’s just not reality. Friendship evangelism doesn’t work. Even if we were being nice to everybody every day, what difference would it make really? Is the world a better place? I don’t think so.”
Mr. Malku said, “Drake, is there any way to win a soccer match in the first minute of the game?”
Drake looked completely confused. “Soccer match?” He said, “Um, no, you’ve gotta play the whole game to win.”
“Is it possible to win in the last minute,” Mr. Malku continued, “if your team hasn’t been trying until then?”
“Well, no,” Drake said. “The other team would be way ahead.”
“The winning team,” Mr. Malku said, “plays their best for the entire game. Right?”
“Yes,” Drake said. “But, I don’t see what this has to do with evangelism.”
“If soccer players know that every pass, every block, every shot, every goal is part of the win,” Mr. Malku said. “Then...”
“We should know it too,” Drake said with a smile. “Christianity is like a soccer game. Nice one, Mr. Malku.”
Mr. Malku smiled back, “What is the ‘win’ for us as Christians?”
“Heaven!” Chloe and Melissa sang together.
“Alone?” Mr. Malku asked.
“NO!” Everyone said.
“Who wins the soccer match?” Mr. Malku was looking directly at Drake.
“The team who played best,” Drake said.
“The entire team,” Mr. Malku said, “who played best. We are in this together! Bringing the Kingdom of God to the world, one play at a time! That’s evangelism.”
“That makes sense,” Drake said. “I guess.”
“We often think the goal shots are the most important,” Mr. Malku said. “Not so. Every play of the game makes the win. So the Great Commission is actually a series of acts of service with salvation as the end goal.”
“That’s really cool,” Shane said.
“Alright,” Mr. Malku said. “Until next week, what are we?”
The group said, “We’re Change Agents!”
“And why are we Change Agents?”
“Because we’re changing the world for Jesus Christ!”
“Very good!” Mr. Malku said, “I’ll see you back here next week and I hope to see you all at Sabbath school as well. Who wants to pray?”
“I’ll give it a shot,” Drake said. “Dear Jesus, help us play the game well this week. We want to bring your Kingdom to every person we can. Amen.”
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