From the passages of the Great Commission, we are going to look at five things that Jesus commanded His disciples to do. Let’s break it down.
18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Go therefore and, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18–20)
15And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation. 16Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. 17And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues; 18they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.” 19So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them and confirmed the message by accompanying signs. (Mark 16:15–20)
What did Jesus command His disciples to do? First, He told them to go! We learned in the last blog that the definition of mission is a "sending". Jesus sent the disciples out.
Second, He told the disciples to make disciples. Jesus instructed them to duplicate themselves. Jesus had duplicated Himself in these twelve and then He commanded them to go out and replicate what He had done. How does duplication occur? Through developing and teaching others, just as Jesus taught His disciples.
Third, Jesus instructed them to baptize in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.
Fourth, He instructed them to teach others.
The fifth thing Jesus commanded His disciples to do was to proclaim or preach; to demonstrate what others should do.
In the Great Commission Jesus gave three promises to His disciples:
- He promised His authority.
- He promised His presence.
- He promised His power. He promised them His power would be with them in the form of accompanying signs.
Body of Christ
As a believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, He has called all of us to “go” and “make disciples”. Christ did not send His disciples out there all alone. Nor are we alone in this journey. God selected you and I and a cloud of witnesses. And we are going to go with His authority, with His presence, and with His power. These promises are the things that change lives.
Each individual is part of a larger group, and is a part of a larger team, the Body of Christ.
God builds His church, or the Body of Christ on what? There is a passage of scripture where Jesus asks his disciples,
“13Who do people say the Son of Man is?” 14And they said, “Some say John the Baptist, others say Elijah, and others Jeremiah or one of the prophets.”15He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” 16Simon Peter replied, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” 17And Jesus answered him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah! For flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but my Father who is in heaven. 18And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church...” (Matthew 16:13–18a)
Upon what rock will Jesus build His church? It is upon a confession. A confession that Jesus Christ is Lord. God builds His Church, the Body of Christ, on a confession.
When we share our life story, also known as a testimony or faith story, it is a confession of what God has done in our life. A story of how His authority, presence and power has changed our life. And it is on our confessions that God builds His Church. We will look more in depth at testimony in a later blog.
May we not shy away from sharing with others the ONE who has the authority and power to change lives and to give meaning to the meaningless.