Summary: The Great Commision is built around relationships.
July 17, 2011
Text: Matthew 28:16-20
Subject: The Great Commission
Title: The Discipleship Directive – Part 2 in the Great Commission Series
Today we continue with the Great Commission series. Last week I told you that the four versions of the Great Commission found in the gospels were written to different groups and had a different emphasis. That doesn’t mean that any of them have less value for us today. Today we are looking at Matthew 28:16-20. Matthew places his emphasis on discipleship, teaching and following the commands of Jesus.
Let me start out today with this interesting bit of humor that I found.
To: Jesus, Son of Joseph
Woodcrafter’s Carpenter Shop
From: Jordan Management Consultants
Thank you for submitting the resumes of the twelve men you have picked for managerial positions in your new organization. All of them have now taken our battery of tests; and we have not only run the results through our computer, but also arranged personal interviews for each of them with our psychologist and vocational aptitude consultant.
The profiles of all tests are included, and you will want to study each of them carefully.
As part of our service, we make some general comments for your guidance, much as an auditor will include some general statements. This is given as a result of staff consultation, and comes without any additional fee.
It is the staff opinion that most of your nominees are lacking in background, education and vocational aptitude for the type of enterprise you are undertaking. They do not have the team concept. We would recommend that you continue your search for persons of experience in managerial ability and proven capability.
Simon Peter is emotionally unstable and given to fits of temper. Andrew has absolutely no qualities of leadership. The two brothers, James and John, the sons of Zebedee, place personal interest above company loyalty. Thomas demonstrates a questioning attitude that would tend to undermine morale. We feel that it is our duty to tell you that Matthew had been blacklisted by the Greater Jerusalem Better Business Bureau; James, the son of Alphaeus, and Thaddaeus definitely have radical leanings, and they both registered a high score on the manic-depressive scale.
One of the candidates, however, shows great potential. He is a man of ability and resourcefulness, meets people well, has a keen business mind, and has contacts in high places. He is highly motivated, ambitious, and responsible. We recommend Judas Iscariot as your controller and right-hand man. All of the other profiles are self-explanatory.
We wish you every success in your new venture.
Jordan Management Consultants
Tim Hansel, Eating Problems for Breakfast, Word Publishing, 1988, pp. 194-195.
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.”
Lord, open my spiritual eyes to see and my spiritual ears to hear and understand what the Spirit is saying to the church.
I. THE AUTHORITY OF CHRIST “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. One should never think that Jesus didn’t know who He was and where He came from. John 5:19-20, 19 Jesus gave them this answer: “I tell you the truth, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does. 20 For the Father loves the Son and shows him all he does. Yes, to your amazement he will show him even greater things than these. In Matthew 6:9-10 Jesus establishes the connection between what He has been doing on the earth with what the Father has been doing in heaven. “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, 10 your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Jesus has authority in heaven and on the earth to do God’s will. Everything that Jesus did was God’s will. What did Jesus have authority to do? He was given the authority to sit down at the right hand of the Father… He was given the authority to intercede for believers… He was given authority to cast out demons, heal the sick, make the lame walk, set the captives free, and to preach the good news. And finally, He had the authority to pass that authority on to others. Luke 10:19, I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you. This authority wasn’t just given to the twelve apostles but was given to “disciples”. That is you and me. Now the question is, “Are you a disciple?” a recent sermon I read recently asked the question, “Are you a fan of Jesus, or a follower?” The point of the sermon is that there are many who are fans of Jesus. They like what He says. They like what He did. They like who He was. They go to church. They sing songs and contribute to the offering. You all know that I am a fan of football – a St. Louis Rams fan in particular. I will be glad when the lockout is ended. I watch football. I talk about football. I get excited about football. But I could never do what the St. Louis Rams do. I’m not big enough or tough enough or talented enough. I couldn’t be a football player so I have to be content to be a fan. However, with Jesus it is totally different. He hasn’t called you to be a fan. He has called you and given you the authority to be a follower and not a fan. That is what a disciple is. Look at what Isaiah says about fans. Isaiah 29:13 The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is made up only of rules taught by men.