Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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.”
This section from the Gospel of Matthew is called The Great Commissionbecause it is Jesus’ instructions after He has risen from the dead and just before He ascends into heaven. He is giving the disciples a mission to fulfill, and ultimately a mission for the whole church.
Isn’t it wild that it says that some of the disciples doubted? There were the 11, they had all seen Jesus killed and risen from the dead, and even now they aren’t so sure what is going on.
That gives me a lot of hope. Jesus didn’t say “For the 7 of you that get it, go make disciples.” Instead, He knew that in the act of going, their faith would grow. By listening to Jesus and believing Him, we tend to believe Him more and more.
Jesus didn’t just send the disciples back to their families, or to their old jobs to witness to their co-workers. Jesus sent them to all nations. This was a worldwide, until the end of time, commission. They were assigned to a duty that wouldn’t be finished until “the end of the age.”
Unless you heard of Jesus and became a Christian in northern Israel, you are a product of these’ guys obedience. They went out from there and taught people everything that Jesus had taught them. They experienced poverty, hunger, and even death, sometimes, but they got the Word out.
There were three key things Jesus told them to do:
- Go make disciples of all nations – Race and nationality didn’t matter. Don’t just broadcast and inform, but make disciples.
- Baptize them – Let them take part in the serious and experiential entry into the Church. Help them make public commitments and form groups of believers
- Teach them everything Jesus said – It’s a long term commitment to Jesus’ teaching above all other things. It’s not about copying culture, but knowing Jesus with sincerity and accuracy.
The great commission is still going on today. We grow from doubters to apostles as we act on Jesus’ words and prove that they are true.
He promised to be with us, and He really is. In every conversation, text message of encouragement, or meeting. We grow in Him as we tell more people and the good news of Jesus’ forgiveness and new life spreads all over the world.