Summary: This is a sermons that sets out a three fold purpose for the church.
This is the purpose of the Church summed up in a few brief verses. Let’s take a look at what is taking place in this passage.
First we see that the eleven disciples did what Jesus had said by going to where He had told them. Then when they encountered Him there they worshipped Him. But some doubted. What was this doubt based upon? I can only suppose that it was the fear of loss. There are three things I can see they stood to lose.
1. Losing their Likeability – or reputation
2. Losing their Lifestyle – or wealth
3. Losing their Life
I find it interesting how those are the same things that keep us from fulfilling The Great Commission even today. Perhaps we should refer to it as The Great Omission?
John Piper said this in his book titled “Don’t Waste Your Life” concerning taking risks for the cause of Christ.
“The strength to risk losing face for the sake of Christ is the faith that God’s love will lift up your face in the end and vindicate your cause. The strength to risk losing money for the cause of the Gospel is the faith that we have a treasure in the heavens that cannot fail. The strength to risk losing life in this world is faith in the promise that he who loses his life in this world will save it for the age to come”
Jesus answered the disciples doubt in verse 18 before giving them their charge. After all what do we have to fear when ALL authority in heaven and on earth has been given to the one who is giving the orders?
With all excuses now removed let’s look at the charge itself.
We are to:
1. MAKE disciples – verse 19a
2. MARK disciples – verse 19b
3. MATURE disciples – verse 20a
Then as comforting assurance Jesus reminds them and us that He will always be with us as we accomplish that daunting and difficult task.
The cost in this life will be great but the benefits will be eternal.