Summary: To fulfill our supreme mission, there must be: 1) AVAILABILITY, 2)WORSHIP, 3)SUBMISSION, 4) OBEDIENCE, & 5)POWER:
One of the most important moments in a military officer’s life is their commission. It is the moment when they swear to defend their country against all enemies, foreign or domestic while upholding the rules governing their country. When officers finish their training they gather together in a public ceremony to sear their vow and receive their commission.
Both before and after the resurrection Jesus said He would meet His disciples in Galilee (see Matt. 26:32; 28:7, 10). He had called a great meeting of His followers for the purpose of commissioning them to reach the world in His name.
As a Christian do you feel that you have a personal commission or do you think that you belong to a group that does? The answer is tremendously important. With one, you see a personal responsibility to be instrumental in fulfilling a mandate. With the other, the responsibility is not felt personally and there is the belief that someone else will do the job. With this situation, the Great Commission has been taken as the Great Suggestion resulting in the Great Omission.
In the final message of Christ reported by Matthew, Jesus gives five explicit or implicit elements that are necessary for His followers to fulfill their Great commission, their supreme mission on earth-to reach the mountain peak of their calling, as it were. These essential elements may be summarized as 1) Availability, 2) Worship, 3) Submission, 4) Obedience, and 5) Power.
To fulfill our supreme mission, there must be:
1) AVAILABILITY: The Events on the Mountain: Matthew 28:16:
Matthew 28:16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. (ESV)
The first three elements for effectively fulfilling the church’s mission are attitudes, the first of which is implied in the fact that the eleven disciples were where the Lord had told them to be.
• As someone astutely observed many years ago, as far as a believer’s service to God is concerned, the greatest ability is availability. The most talented and gifted Christian is useless to God if he is not available to be used.
Faithful discipleship always begins with simply being available to God, putting all reservations and preconceptions aside.
We are not told when or how the Lord specified the exact time and place in Galilee where they were to gather, but they were now at the particular mountain to which Jesus had directed them on some previous occasion.
• We are not told who was present when Jesus gave the Great Commission, but it seems probable that it was the group of more than five hundred that Paul mentions in 1 Corinthian 15:6.
• The fact that Matthew specifically mentions only the eleven disciples does not limit the gathering to them. As it shall become plain from this passage, the Great Commission applies to all of His church,
We are uncertain as to the exact location of this mountain. Based on Matthew 26:32, these eleven went to Galilee, for that is where Jesus has promised to meet them.
• Jesus commissioned them first from their neighborhoods. Don’t immediately put this event in the context of some far off sending. He started the commission and intended for it to start first where they were.
• Wherever exactly which mountain this was, it became a place of great sacredness, where more than five hundred of Jesus’ disciples came with their weaknesses, confusion, doubts, misgivings, and fears. They were not the most humanly capable people in the world, nor the most intelligent or powerful or influential. But they were where the Lord wanted them to be, and that obedience gave evidence of their willingness to be used in His service. Like Isaiah, in Isaiah 6:8, after his vision in the Temple:
Isaiah 6:8 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?" Then I said, "Here am I! Send me." (ESV)
• Before receiving this commission, God doesn’t want you to work everything out or think that you are now ready to go. Just like salvation, He wants you to realize that in and of yourself you are not ready. You too have questions, fears and problems.
o Don’t wait until summer is over, you get all your questions answered, or your problems are all solved before you obey this commission. He wants you right here to go right now.
Because the eleven disciples were there, they met Christ, Because they were there, they were commissioned. Because they were there, they received the Lord’s promise of His continual presence and power as they ministered to the world in His name. It all started with being available.
• Don’t think that this commission is fine for others, to fulfill. Maybe you think that this if for the corporate church to fulfill, or some other ministries, evangelists, missionaries or pastors. This is for all the disciples of Christ individually.