New Year, New Life

18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and 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)

When Jesus appeared to his disciples the very last time, his last words of encouragement to them were “Go and make disciples of all nations.” We knew he was implementing God’s plan to help all nations, as Acts 11:25-26 helps us to see. Jesus’ focus was to bring all nations, all people, from all countries and from everywhere to become disciples. He taught his eleven best friends, with his last breaths, what it was he wanted them to do… What he called them to do, in sight of God and the Holy Spirit, which he would send later. This was one of the most important things Jesus was ever going to say to these men, and one that, for most of them, would lead to martyrdom.

Faithfully Jesus challenged them, and faithfully they obeyed. On December 20, 2009, a Syracuse University graduate student named Bo Shi responded to the cross! Calling on His name, Bo Shi made his good confession, “Jesus is Lord”, and waded into the water. Bo Shi studied the bible for about two months before he made the decision to become a disciple, and to make following Jesus, the purpose for his life. Despite Bo recently coming to the United States and not knowing who God was, or what it meant to have faith–the first words out of his mouth when asked if he was interested in studying the Bible were, “I’m VERY interested!”

Bo very quickly became one of my most cherished friends. Even though there was a language barrier, his humility and gratefulness surpassed that of many men that I’ve studied with in the past. He was constantly asking questions, constantly striving to learn about God in a language that was foreign to him. Yet for all the peoples of the earth, grace is the language that everyone can understand. The message is unveiled to those who are being saved, and discipleship is universal. Bo quickly understood, and made radical decisions to change his life. Now his wife Sha Sha, who is pursuing her Ph.D. in New Jersey, has seen her husbands new faith, has been to our sister church in New York City, and is very excited to have met many of the brothers and sisters up here in Syracuse.

So there you have it, a new brother in the faith. His name is Bo.