Summary: Making the Great Commission my Mission
INTRO: (Start the Mission Impossible theme music)
You’ve seen the movies and know the concept. But, how many of us have been given a job that seems like Mission Impossible? We all probably have! Either there wasn’t enough money, or time, or talent, or other resources to get the job done. When this happens, it makes us feel frustrated and defeated, even ready to quit!
But what if you were given that same impossible job, and this time your boss gave you everything you need to succeed? Budget, time, and resources all have no limits. And most importantly your boss gives you their complete support. Would it still be impossible? What could you accomplish within that working environment?
As we come to this last paragraph in Matthew’s account of Jesus’ life and ministry we read these familiar words.
Read the text: Matthew 28:16-20
16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (ESV)
And what is this text from your Bible called? What title or heading is given to it? The Great Commission, right? But does your Bible use those words? No, it doesn’t! So why do we call it that? I’ll try to answer that question, but later. How many of you have read or heard this text before? Probably most of us have. Well today, I want us to look at this passage in two ways: 1st as Commission Impossible & 2nd as Commission Probable-one that cannot fail. But what is a commission? A commission is the act of entrusting or giving authority to another person so that they can perform certain acts or duties. And that is exactly what this passage is. And before we can get into what that looks like, we need to look at why our Lord gave this commissioning.
The disciples have been with Jesus for 3 ½ years. With Him, they were eyewitness to things that most of us wished we could have seen for ourselves. They have heard His teachings, witnessed His miracles and experienced His power and presence. But now that is all over… or is it? They feel discouraged, defeated, and confused. What will they do now? Their leader and Lord as defeated death, but what is next for them? They know He has conquered the grave, they have seen Him several times after the resurrection. But what are they to do? Why bother telling this incredible true story of the Lord, if no one is going to believe them? What difference is it going to make?
These words were so powerful that all Gospel writers use a close variation to end each of their own ‘Jesus account’. And while these words are a commissioning, they are so more than that. They are words of encouragement and confidence. In the same way most of us would never forget the final words of a respected and loved one, these words stay with the disciples for the rest of their lives. And most importantly, these words are not just from Jesus of Nazareth the carpenter, these are the words of the Son of God Himself!
1.The Commission EXPLAINED
a.Remember what a “Commission” is? A commission is the act of entrusting or giving authority to a person so that they can perform certain acts or duties. That is exactly what Jesus encourages His disciple with in verse 18. And in case you think this is a completely new & different commissioning, it is not! Our Lord has always wanted His people to be a blessing and share His message with those who don’t know. (Gen.12:1-3 & 22:18) “And in your offspring shall all the nations be blessed, because you have obeyed my voice.”
*The very heart of Christianity is a missionary faith. Because the very nature of God demands this, for God is love and God is not willing that any should perish (2 Peter 3:9) “The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance.”
b.“Go” is literally, ‘as you are going’ or ‘while you are going’. And just like God instructions to the people of Israel in Deut 6:4-9, teaching was to be in the context of natural things of life. In other words, as followers of Christ and as we live our lives we are to share His message of love and hope.