This is the Cabo Polonio Lighthouse. It stands 85 feet tall and it is located on a hamlet on the eastern coast of Uruguay. As you may already know, every lighthouse has a story. Even if not associated with a remarkable life-saving tale or a fascinating urban legend, every lighthouse has guided and warned mariners at some time or another. After all, that is the main reason for their existence. The Cabo Polonio Lighthouse is one of the many beacons with a truly inspiring story, one that goes a little beyond that of saving lives with its guiding light.
The original tower was built in 1881. For many decades thereafter, Cabo Polonio was an inhospitable and solitary place, except during the summer fishing season when a handful of fishermen would pitch tents on shore. Eventually, some of them slowly migrated to the area with their families and built a small (off the grid) community. To date, the village still remains with no electricity and running water. Only the lighthouse is connected to the main power grid.
In 1968, Ulises and his newlywed wife Teresa arrived at Cabo Polonio. Ulises came to work as a radiotelegraphy assistant. Teresa, who was only nineteen, soon discovered what her life-changing career would be, at least for the time she would call this place her home.
The first thing Teresa noticed at Cabo Polonio was that the children, most of them from families of fishermen, were illiterate. This inspired her to start a school for them. However, the biggest obstacle to carrying out this endeavor was obviously money and location. After discussing it among themselves, the fishermen and sailors decided that having a school was a very good idea. So, they suggested that it should operate from within the lighthouse. With their help and the support of the rest of the villagers, Teresa successfully opened the lighthouse school an began teaching the children as well as a few older fishermen would also come to learn. But the time eventually came when Teresa had to leave and return to the mainland. Many of her students continued learning from each other.
No matter where we are or where the Lord takes us during our lifetime, if we are mature Christians, our hearts should be like that of Teresa. We should desire to help spiritually young Christians learn and grow in the knowledge of Christ.
Jesus called out 12 men to follow Him. Not to keep Him company, but to guide them with the light of truth (He is the truth) while teaching them about God’s Kingdom. They spent a considerable amount of time alongside Him learning from his teachings and actions. And right before he ascended back into heaven He told them to…
So, was this command just for them? Or, is the Great Commission reserved only for the clergy of today? Keep in mind that Jesus also told his disciples to go into ALL the world. I am sure He did not expect them to travel and reach every town, city, province, and country proclaiming God’s kingdom until His return. Not that he couldn’t extend their lifespan, but that means that they would have had to live and be physically capable of this task for quite a few hundred years! The answer to the first two question is a resounding No! The call to make disciples is to be an ongoing task for as long as it takes Jesus to prepare a place and return for those who believe in Him. He commissioned every believer to preach (light the way) and teach (make disciples of) others because…
But in order to make disciples, we need to be disciples ourselves. Which means that we must be actively learning about God and His word. And for that, we need these three things:
As believers, we are responsible for proclaiming the message of God’s grace and His righteousness (through faith in Christ) to those who are blinded by sin and self-righteousness. But we are also responsible for growing spiritually so that we can teach them how to walk in God’s light. One way to ensure that we remain focused on these responsibilities is to remember that as long as we are in this world and as long as there are souls to be saved we can NEVER stop learning, preaching, and teaching the Good News of Jesus Christ.
Are you shining the light of Christ by sharing the Gospel? If you are, then you should also be growing spiritually by being part of a discipleship ministry preferably at a local church or a small group. If you are not being discipled because of physical limitations, then an online Bible study (recommended by a known Pastor or mature Christian) can be just as effective. And if you are being discipled, then you should also be ready and willing to teach others the truths you are learning, both verbally and by example. Just as Jesus did with his disciples.
We don’t all have to be missionaries to a foreign land in order to fulfill the Great Commission. We can shine and teach wherever we are. In other words, we can all be a Lighthouse Teacher.
Prayer: Lord, thank you for lighting my way so that I may enjoy the promise of eternal life. And thank you for your Word which helps me grow in the knowledge of who you are. May my heart always be teachable so that you can use me to be a light unto others and teach them of your glorious ways. In your precious name, I pray, Amen!
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:19-20 (ESV)
“…be on your guard so that you will not be carried away by the error of the lawless and fall from your secure standing. But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ…” – 2 Peter 3:18 (BSB)
“And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in the whole world as a testimony to all nations, and then the end will come.” –Matthew 24:14
“And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.” -John 14:3
-ALL SCRIPTURE IS QUOTED FROM THE NIV EXCEPT WHERE SPECIFIED.