Summary: The Great Commission is the mandate that Jesus gave his followers to make disciples. We see here that it begins with worship, it is backed by authority of Jesus, it is a bold command of the Lord, and it has blessed assurance of Jesus presence.
Introduction: Very simply the Great Commission is the mandate that Jesus has given to all his followers to make disciples of all nations. In this passage we see that it begins with worship, it is backed by authority of Jesus, it is a bold command of the Lord, and it has blessed assurance of Jesus presence.
I Begins with Worship (vv 16,17)
i) Strange Believers: All eleven disciples obeyed Jesus by going to the mount. But not all believed in Jesus even after seeing the risen Lord! Illustration: People go to crusades to see the action but don’t believe even after they see miracles. What kind of disciple are you?
ii) Some worshipped: This was hard for Jews to worship a man! But this sealed their faith that Jesus was the Son of God. Today for anyone to worship Jesus (Joh 4:23) means they have real faith and are ready for the Great Commission.
II Backed by Authority (v 18)
i) Jesus came to them: To both the doubting and the worshipping disciples. Jesus offers the opportunity of serving Him to both kinds of disciples.
ii) All authority: Kinds of authority: Judicial, Executive, Military, Medical, Business, Academic, etc. Realms of authority: heaven & earth – that covers it all.
iii) Commissioned by very high authority: This is our badge, our uniform our recognition in the spirit world.
III Bold Command (v 19)
i) Not a suggestion: It is a strong command to go. Not just to those we are comfortable with but to all the world and all nations (ethne) people groups.
ii) To make disciples: This is the clear broad goal – don’t make converts, church-goers, Bible-knowers, holy people, “Christians”, etc. but disciplined followers of the Lord. This was Jesus first commission and last commission to his disciples (Mat 4:19).
iii) Teach them to obey: Not just theory or knowledge but to obey, to put the Word into practice. Discipleship is teaching to obey the Word. Obey what? All that Jesus commanded: love one another, give generously, break bread, forgive enemies, submit to authorities, make disciples, baptize, etc.
iv) The missing link! This is how the commission becomes ours. Jesus commanded them to teach us to obey His commands. His command is to make disciples!
IV Blessed Assurance (v 20)
i) Continual Presence: We need God’s presence in our ministry. Moses refused to go with out God’s Presence (Exo 33:15, 1Co 10:4)
ii) The Holy Spirit is Christ’s presence for us: The Great Commission happened on the day of Pentecost after the Holy Spirit came on the disciples as promised (Act 1:8)
iii) End of the Age: This gospel age will end. Jesus said after the gospel is preached (Mat 24:14)
Do you realize that the Great Commission is for you?
What can you change to make this a priority for your life? You need to go to all the world, preach the gospel, baptize and enroll disciples (evangelism, win), teach them (consolidate, disciple, send)
John 4:23-24 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshippers must worship in spirit and in truth."