Matthew 28:18-20 is not just a familiar passage to most of us, it is our missions anthem. In this scene, Jesus has his followers, His disciples gathered around him, and before he ascends he could tell them anything, but he sends them among ALL nations to make disciples…Jesus entrusts His disciples with a worldwide task! It is easy to cheer for and generally support the Great Commission, but why is it in the Bible?
Here are 4 reasons why I think the Great Commission is in the Bible:
As a Christian, how do you know that you’re doing what God wants you to do? Jesus gives us a simple and straightforward answer: “Make disciples.” Make these disciples among the nations and among all peoples. Baptize these new disciples into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and then teach these believers to obey all of Jesus’ commands. The Great Commission isn’t necessarily simple, but it’s not complicated. It provides us clarity in a world where connection and access constantly clamor for our attention, time, and energy.
The Great Commission is a summary and reminder of Jesus’ ministry. Jesus came to seek and save the lost. He invites us to go and do likewise.
Jesus commanded us to be about the business of going and making disciples wherever people are found. He also said that as we participate in this Great Commission, He will be right there with us, every step of the way!
There are 3 characters involved in God’s mission among the nations: God, the Lost, and Us—You and Me. Sometimes finding our place, or role, in God’s mission is not as easy or comfortable as we hope or want it to be, yet missions is part of the plan of God and is essential to the identity of God’s people, the church! If you are a Christian, then central to your identity is one who is sent. That means missions is a non-negotiable for me and for you.
The Great Commission is great due to its scope and the fact that Jesus entrusted it to us! Hopefully asking and answering the question of “why” helps us more readily participate in God’s mission among the nations.
Featured image by IMB.