The Great Commission is the command that Jesus gave to his disciples after his resurrection, as recorded in Matthew 28:19-20. It is the mission of the church to spread the gospel of Christ to all nations and to make disciples who follow his teachings. In this blog post, we will explore four aspects of the Great Commission and why it is important for us today.
1. The Authority of Christ. The Great Commission begins with the words “Therefore go” (v. 19), which imply a logical connection to what Jesus said before: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (v. 18). This means that Jesus has the right and the power to send his followers to do his work. He is the Lord of all creation and the head of the church. He has defeated sin and death and has risen from the grave. He has the final word on everything that matters. Therefore, we can trust him and obey him without fear or hesitation.
2. The Scope of the Mission. The Great Commission commands us to “make disciples of all nations” (v. 19), which means that no people group or place is excluded from God’s plan of salvation. God loves the world and wants everyone to know him and worship him. He has chosen us, his church, to be his witnesses and ambassadors to every tribe, tongue, and nation. He has given us the message of reconciliation and the ministry of reconciliation (2 Corinthians 5:18-20). Therefore, we should not be indifferent or prejudiced toward anyone, but rather seek to share the gospel with everyone.
3. The Content of the Message. The Great Commission instructs us to “baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” (v. 19) and to “teach them to obey everything I have commanded you” (v. 20). This means that we are not only to proclaim the good news of Christ’s death and resurrection, but also to invite people to respond in faith and repentance, and to join God’s family through baptism. Baptism is a sign and seal of our union with Christ and our participation in his death and resurrection (Romans 6:3-4). It also means that we are not only to make converts, but also to make disciples who follow Christ’s example and commands. We are to teach them everything that Jesus taught us, which includes his ethical teachings, his parables, his miracles, his prophecies, and his promises. Therefore, we should not dilute or distort the gospel, but rather uphold it in its fullness and clarity.
4. The Promise of Christ. The Great Commission ends with the words “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (v. 20). This means that Jesus is not only our sender, but also our companion and helper in our mission. He does not leave us alone or powerless, but rather gives us his presence and his Spirit to guide us, empower us, comfort us, and protect us. He is faithful and true, and he will never forsake us or fail us. Therefore, we should not be afraid or discouraged, but rather rejoice and be confident in his love and power.
The Great Commission is not an optional or outdated commandment, but a vital and urgent mandate for every follower of Christ. It is our privilege and responsibility to participate in God’s mission of saving the world through his Son. It is also our joy and reward to see lives transformed by his grace and glory displayed among all peoples. Let us therefore go 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 obey everything Jesus commanded us, and remembering that he is with us always, to the very end of the age.