Taking a Closer Look at The Great Commission


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I have always seen the Great Commission as an evangelistic commission and even as it is evangelistic, that is just a part of it. Lets take a closer look at Matthew 28:19-20,

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. (KJV)

         These were Jesus’ last words before he ascended to heaven; they are of extreme importance. A few things are established here that we must pay attention to:

  1. Jesus reminds us that He is in charge: All authority was given to Him. It is important to understand that no matter how bad or hopeless a situation may look like. It does not matter how unpopular Jesus becomes on this earth; He is in charge! (Verse 18).
  2. We have a mandate to go and do some specific things: We have a mandate to teach all of the nations: The word nation here is the word éthnos; meaning, “A multitude, people, race, belonging and living together.[1] It is where we get the English word ethnic. This is the reason why racism should never exist in the church. Any racist group that claims to be a Christian is operating directly against the teachings of our Lord Jesus Christ. We are supposed to be reaching out to everybody! The focus of the Great Commission is to TEACH and not just teach anything, the Great Commission is very specific in what we are suppose to be teaching.
  • Teach ALL of what Jesus commanded (Verse 19). We know that all of the law hangs on two commandments, to love God above all things and to love your neighbor as you love yourself.[2] However, Jesus is not leaving us on the air when it comes down to his commandments. He is showing us, very clearly, through the gospels, what this two commandments look like as we walk them out in our own lives.
  • Teach the disciples how to observe all that Jesus commanded. (Verse 20) It is not only about teaching what this commandments are, but to also teach how to apply them in our dally walk. This is not only about head knowledge; application is a must!
  1. Nothing can be left out; we must go through the gospels, take a look at the red letters and go over every single command given by Jesus. Yes, we have a long way to go! And… Yes, we have a lot of work to do!

         These can be a wonderful personal study where you, individually, can go through the Gospels and write down all that Jesus commanded us to do. However, there are a few brothers and sisters out there that have put a list together. Here I give you few links I have personally found: http://www.trusting-in-jesus.com/Commandments-of-Jesus.html, http://iblp.org/questions/what-are-commands-christ, https://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Commandments_of_Christ. Also, John Piper has a book entitle, What Jesus Demands From the World.

         I am convinced that is there is something that is going to absolutely transform the church and get us back on track is a detailed, passionate and anointed teaching about what the Great Commission really means. Jesus said in John 8:31, “…If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;”

         See, the problem is that 1) We don’t know what Jesus is commanding, we know he told us to love God above all things and our neighbor as we love ourselves, but we don’t have any clue what that looks like specifically. 2) Teaching is not about head knowledge only; teaching goes beyond head knowledge and into actually teaching folks how to apply these things. That requires more than a weekly class; it actually requires that we hang out together and look at each other’s lives.

         In all we must understand that a church will never prosper spiritually if is not TEACHING. We can talk about vision, mission, giving, how to be bless, what we are going to do; we can wait for the next new thing, the next off the wall revelation, the Baptism of the Holy Ghost, etc. but here Jesus is telling us what we need to be teaching specifically. Now, this does not mean that we don’t teach the Old Testament or anything else in the Bible. We are called to teach the whole counsel of God[3], but we must start at what Jesus is directly commanding. The totality of the Great Commission is the start. The Great Commission involves both, evangelism and teaching.

         I don’t know about you, but I am excited about this teaching and the application of this teaching in my life, the life of my children and the local church that I am a part of. Lets GO!!!!

 

[1] Spiros Zodhiates, The Complete Word Study Dictionary: New Testament (Chattanooga, TN: AMG Publishers, 2000).

[2] Matthew 22:37-40

[3] Acts 20:27

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