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. Matthew 28:18-20 ESV
This passage has been called the Great Commission, not the Great Suggestion! It is a command given to all followers of Jesus Christ. It is “great” because it is the culmination of all Jesus taught and because of the scope of the commission – the whole world.
Disciples (followers) of Jesus are to make other disciples as they go through life. These new disciples are to be baptized (publicly identify with Jesus) and taught to obey the whole Word of God. Then, they too are to go and do the same, eventually reaching all the nations (peoples) of the earth. With each succeeding generation, the Great Commission stands as a fresh, new challenge.
- God has always had the whole world on His heart. What do the following passages say about God’s heart for the world? — Genesis 12:1-3; Isaiah 49:6
- After the resurrection, Jesus repeated this commission several times in various forms. What else did Jesus say in the following verses when He reminded the disciples of His world vision? — Luke 24:45-49; Acts 1:4-8
Question to ponder: How are you personally involved in helping to fulfill the Great Commission?
Passages for further study: John 3:16-17; Revelation 7:9-10