The Great Omission Bible Study

But just there is the problem. Who, among Christians today, is a disciple of Jesus, in any substantive sense of the word “disciple”? A disciple is a learner, a student, an apprentice—a practitioner, even if only a beginner. The New Testament literature, which must be allowed to define our terms if we are ever to get our bearings in the Way with Christ, makes this clear. In that context, disciples of Jesus are people who do not just profess certain views as their own but apply their growing understanding of life in the Kingdom of the Heavens to every aspect of their life on earth.

In contrast, the governing assumption today, among professing Christians, is that we can be “Christians” forever and never become disciples. Not even in heaven, it seems, for who would need it there? That is the accepted teaching now. Check it out wherever you are. And this (with its various consequences) is the Great Omission from the “Great Commission” in which the Great Disparity is firmly rooted. As long as the Great Omission is permitted or sustained, the Great Disparity will flourish—in individual lives as well as in Christian groups and movements. Conversely, if we cut the root in the Great Omission, the Great Disparity will wither, as it has repeatedly done in times past. No need to fight it. Just stop feeding it.

Jesus told us explicitly what to do. We have a manual, just like the car owner. He told us, as disciples, to make disciples. Not converts to Christianity, nor to some particular “faith and practice.” He did not tell us to arrange for people to “get in” or “make the cut” after they die, nor to eliminate the various brutal forms of injustice, nor to produce and maintain “successful” churches. These are all good things, and he had something to say about all of them. They will certainly happen if—but only if—we are (his constant apprentices) and do (make constant apprentices) what he told us to be and do. If we just do this, it will little matter what else we do or do not do.

The Great Omission: Reclaiming Jesus's Essential Teachings on Discipleship

Dallas Willard










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