Links Daily Devotional

As You Are Golfing… Er, Going

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” (Matthew 28:19, NASB)

Today’s Bible verse is well-known—not always well-followed, but still well-known—and is often referred to as “The Great Commission.” Because of the verses just before it, we know that it was said in Galilee by Jesus to the eleven remaining core disciples. In most translations, it begins “Go therefore,” or “Go then,” and make disciples.

Does this commission apply to us, or was it just for the eleven? Many teachers explain that if each generation of disciples is to go about the task of making the next generation of disciples, it is a self-perpetuating command right down through time. So let’s say that we, like the eleven, have been commissioned to “go and make disciples.”

Well, that’s kind of a non-starter for most of us, because of the word go. Most of us aren’t going to go to some other country (Jesus did say “all nations”) or even to some other city; and because we aren’t going somewhere, we think the rest of the commission simply falls by the wayside.

But what if Jesus had said it this way: “Golf, then, and make disciples of all the nations…”? In fact that is what Jesus said. Let me explain.

When we read this verse in English and think about it in English, we understand the word go as a finite imperative. But the verb form used for the word go in Greek is not a finite imperative but a participle. A fair translation would be, “As you are going, therefore, make disciples….” Naturally I like to translate that into, “As you are golfing….”

Please note that I’m not saying we shouldn’t “go,” because I believe Jesus is saying we should. We should go to other countries, to other cultures, and even to other clubs. And wherever we go, as we are going, we must make disciples, because that verb is a finite imperative.

This fits beautifully with the S in LINKS: Share Christ with others through the great game of golf. When I go to the golf course, it is in my mind to make disciples. It is also in my mind to work on my game, to shoot a good score, to make a hole-in-one, to get some exercise, and to enjoy the beauty of the course, the day, and the people I’m paired with.

Turns out that following the “go” part of the great commission can actually be pretty simple. Just go play golf.

Lewis Greer
March 9, 2015
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