Teachers and Students
Few would argue against the fact that the Scriptures clearly require every Christian to both be a disciple and make disciples. In fact, “disciple” literally means student or learner. So until Christ returns, we are all required to be both teacher and student, obeying the commands that Christ handed down to us in the gospel.
Can you imagine the pressure, the fear, and the feelings of inadequacy that the disciples must have felt when they heard Jesus say, “Go and make disciples of all nations?” And then when he said, “Teach them to obey all I have commanded you.”
I imagine they might have felt crushed under the weight of such responsibility. But the Lord Jesus, knowing their fearful and anxious hearts, reminded them—and us—that his expectations are always accompanied by his presence. We are assured of this in his promise: “I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
An Impossible Task
In the Great Commission, Jesus gives us an impossible task with tremendous relational risk. But trusting that the Lord is with us, and because He is with us, we are free from the fear that grips many of us when it comes to evangelism and discipleship—Can I do this? Will it be enough? Will I be effective? How can I measure up to their standards or to the standards I hold up for myself or even to God's standard? Am I doing or saying the right things?
We must trust that God will give us wisdom by his Spirit, and the Spirit will do his work in and through us. We can’t be perfect, but we must be faithful—faithful to the Word of God, faithful in prayer, faithful in our commitment to those we disciple.
We must trust that God will give us wisdom by his Spirit, and the Spirit will do his work in and through us.
As we consider our responsibility to carry out the Great Commission, we rightly stress the importance of making disciples through evangelism and missions. So we put a lot of emphasis on the “go.” We also rightly emphasize the importance of baptism, giving public profession of faith and identifying oneself as a follower of Christ, a disciple. We understand the importance of teaching disciples to obey Christ’s teaching.
But how often do we run that thread into our Titus 2 relationships? We don’t lay aside Matthew 28:19-20 when we get to Titus 2. Actually, they are companions. Older women are to teach young women the specific instructions in Titus 2 in light of Christ’s charge to teach them to obey all that he has commanded. Of course, the way we learn to obey Christ’s teachings is from the Word of God.
What Discipleship Entails
Discipleship includes practical instruction but it also includes regular teaching from God’s Word so that we learn what Christ expects of us as his children and then in love we obey him. So, becoming a Titus 2 woman means taking on the role of a teacher—teaching not solely the very practical and necessary aspects of v. 3-5, but also all the other commands and teachings of Christ that help us grow in holiness and in our witness before the world.
Of course teaching takes place in all sorts of contexts both formal and informal. But no one gets a pass on teaching just as no one gets a pass on learning.
Conclusion #1: Understanding that my responsibility as a Christian is a call both to learn and to teach others challenges me to grow in my understanding of the Word, so that my affection for Christ deepens and so that I’m better able to teach others God’s truth so that they can grow in the grace and knowledge of Christ as well.
Titus 2:11-14 explains where the practical instructions of Titus 2:1-10 fit in God’s grand plan of redemption. Paul explains that these instructions are important because the grace of God is manifested in the gospel, and those of us who believe this gospel should evidence our profession of faith in Christ through godly living. Christ is returning soon to whisk away his radiant Bride, so until then we all must learn and teach and love and obey.
Conclusion #2: Just as every Christian is called to go, make disciples, and teach them Christ’s commands, every older woman can apply this command to her discipleship of young women by teaching them what is good and by training them to live out their faith in their specific relational and vocational contexts.
Titus 2 is undergirded by the Great Commission, and the Great Commission informs and motivates our application of Titus 2. Let’s remember that Titus 2 is a Great Commission issue—so let us go, make disciples, and then teach them all that Christ commands, recognizing that he is with us and will give us wisdom as we walk in obedience to him.