Summary: In the Great Commission in Matthew 28, there are many imperatival participles, but Jesus’ only direct imperative to His disciples was, ’Make Disciples!’ What do we do with this?


Sterling C. Franklin

February 2008

Text: Matthew 28:16-20

Matthew 28:16-20 16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

Intro: Brief Verse Notes

16 -- where He told them to arrange [themselves]

17 -- ...but some hesitated

18 - All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth

19 Be going then, be disciples/make disciples {IMV} from all people groups (ethnh); baptizing them into the Name {SINGULAR} of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

20 teaching them to keep all as much as I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you; I am {in} all [things] the days, until the completion/consummation of the Age

I. The Great Gathering (16-17)

- ‘They worshipped’ but some doubted.

- ‘Doubting Thomas’

- “Some” doubted! (Plural)

- Who got off the hook?

- How much do we doubt God?

Proverbs 3:5-6 – Trust in the LORD…

2 Corinthians 5:7 – Walk by faith, not by sight

Challenge: Hindsight is always 20/20 – it’s easy to trust what God has done, but are we trusting the Lord for things in our lives today?

II. The Great Authority (18)

- What amazing authority the Lord has. Philippians 2. Hebrews 2.

Philippians 2:5-11 5 Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, 7 but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death-- even death on a cross! 9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Hebrews 2:9-10 9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. 10 In bringing many sons to glory, it was fitting that God, for whom and through whom everything exists, should make the author of their salvation perfect through suffering.

Note that Jesus humbled Himself even to death on a Cross. He humbled Himself and was exalted. He suffered, as well. We’re entitled not only to believe in Christ, but also to suffer for His sake (as in Philippians 1)! May we put on the mind of Christ and serve Him in humility.

All Authority

What do we think of when we hear the word ‘Authority?’

American authorities:

Jesus as…

1) Legislative – Lawgiver

Matthew 22:37-39 37 Jesus replied: "’Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ’Love your neighbor as yourself.’

2) Executive - King of Kings (Revelation 17:14 and Revelation 19:16)

3) Judicial – Judge

Acts 10:42 42 He commanded us to preach to the people and to testify that he is the one whom God appointed as judge of the living and the dead.

Jesus has been given all authority by the Father in Heaven and on earth, and thus, His Word is extremely important!

III. The Great Commission (19-20a)

Use of Participles

Participles: more in the background

The only Imperative: Make disciples…

What does that mean?

Present every man mature in Christ Jesus (Col. 1:28)

You all should be teachers! (1 Cor. 3, Heb. 5)

Was Jesus’ main command –

“Go!” – So was Jesus just saying, “Get up off your butt and do this”

In part, but it’s understood that it would happen anyway with the given Imperative.

“Baptize!” – This again is only part of the Discipleship process, but it is a joyous occasion!

Farmer’s term: Baptism (Pickle & Brine coat)

“Teach!” – No, though this again is a very important duty.

Note that “Name” is singular, as well. There is a parallel among the Persons of the Trinity here:

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