“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go (literally “as you 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
If you have been around the Church very long you probably are familiar with this passage of scripture. Often referred to as “The Great Commission” it is right up there with “The Ten Commandments” or “John 3:16” and rightfully so. Its “Great” for a reason and I believe that we should take time to re-focus on these familiar passages so we don’t become so accustom to “hearing” them that we neglect to really consider their meaning and apply them to our lives.
So what makes the Great Commission so Great?
1. The greatness of the one speaking! Jesus the resurrected Son of God to whom all authority in heaven and on earth has been given and to whom every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess Lordship is the one laying out the mission here. He is the King of Kings who overcame death and hell to redeem for Himself a people for His own possession. God with skin on is about to give His people a new purpose for their new lives in Him. Therefore there can be no other purpose for our lives more important than what He is about to say!
2. The greatness of the mission itself! The word, “go” actually means, “as you go”. As you go “make disciples of all nations.” The scope of the mission is huge. We are to make disciples of the nations. Every people group on the planet should one day have those who willingly bow their knee to confess Jesus as Lord. He is worth that! But the simplicity of the mission is just as huge. As you go and live out your life in the places you go, with the people you know, using the unique gifts and talents that God has woven into who you are, make disciples. This mission is also great because it redefines the purpose of our lives both individually and corporately as you (the church) go “make” disciples. The command is for God’s people to make disciples as we do life together as the body of Christ.
So what is so “Great” about making disciples?
We are charged with the awesome responsibility to be God’s ministers of reconciliation to the lost world (2Cor 5:11-21). Our ministry is to help others come to know God and enter into a relationship with Him by faith in His Son Jesus Christ through the proclamation of the Gospel so they can die to their slavery to sin with Him on the cross and be raised to a new life to God in Him through His resurrection (as expressed publically by baptism, also see Romans chapter 6). As a result of this salvation they are now new creations in Christ and part of His family (the Church) where together, in Christ-centered community, we get to help them learn to obey His good commands from their heart (Romans 7-8) so they too may enjoy the eternal abundant life Jesus died to give to them. (2 Timothy 2:10, John 10:10, John 3:16, John 17:3) Making disciples is an act of love. In fact it’s God’s Great love that compels God’s Great Church to live for God’s Great mission and He gives us His Great authority and Great and powerful presence to carry it out! At the risk of sounding like Tony the Tiger, the Great Commission truly is Grrrrrrrrreat! Let’s take some time today to re-focus and really consider what it looks like for us personally and corporately as the Body of Christ to carry it out together!
- Shannon Compton
Life Groups Pastor, BCC