Recently, on a fishing trip to a high country lake, I made an interesting observation. When there weren’t waves, we caught NO fish. When the waves picked up, things changed! The waves bounced through the shallow waters, waking up the submerged bug life—putting them into the water in reach of the fish. The sandy shore spread into the shallows clouding the water just a bit, making it harder for the fish to tell the flies we were offering were fake bugs! The waves change everything – and the fish began to bite.
After 33 years on earth (and His own death and resurrection), Jesus left His disciples and headed for heaven. Before He left, Jesus gave some final instructions to those who followed Him:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:18-20 NIV).
For three years, Jesus had taught those who followed Him through life-on-life, experience-by-experience lessons. Now He was sending them to help others be Jesus-followers and to teach them how to live, life-on-life, experience-by-experience. In turn, those followers would teach others in the same way . . . one after another––waves of influence that crossed oceans and cultures and cannot even be tracked.
Many centuries later, we can’t physically follow Jesus from place to place, but we can still be “disciples” or followers of Christ. God has given us the Scriptures and His Holy Spirit to speak to us and we can talk with Him through prayer. He has given us other people to help us along the way––life-on-life, experience-by-experience. And like the first disciples, we, too, are to help others be followers of Christ, one generation after another, making waves of influence and changed lives.