Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:19-20
Today I want to talk about the authority Jesus gave us right before He ascended into heaven. Most of us have heard these words and know them as the “Great Commission”. Jesus said in today’s reading that all authority had been given to Him, but then He turned around and delegated that authority to the disciples who were there with Him. He said: I have been given all authority, so now you can go and make disciples of all the nations.
I have heard people argue that the Great Commission was only for the disciples that were with Jesus the day He ascended into heaven, but the truth is, it is for every believer. We are to spread the message of the good news throughout the whole earth. If it ended with the disciples, it would have ended when they died. That just doesn’t make sense. Plus the message is still spreading today.
They key is that Jesus told them to go make disciples, just like they were. Those with Jesus that day were in charge of sharing the message of salvation and then training others to do the same. He did not tell them to go make converts. His direction was very clear to make more disciples so that the gospel would spread quickly. Its the reason we have churches today, to make disciples to share the message of salvation.
The most exciting part for me about the great commission is quoted at the end of the book of Mark. Jesus said in Mark 16:17 that signs and wonders would follow those who believe. I rejoice at hearing this because in years past, I thought that the signs that Jesus did passed away with His disciples. But this passage in Mark says very clearly that these signs would follow all those who believe. I am so thankful that Jesus wants His work to continue here on earth, which is one of the reasons He taught us to pray “God’s will be done on earth just like it is in heaven”. (Matt.6:10)
Today I encourage you to make disciples wherever you go. I know it doesn’t always work out that you can do that if you share the message of salvation with someone you will never see again, but start by at least sharing the message. If you can make a connection, help that person take some next steps in the faith walk by getting them connected with a small group or devotional to encourage them in their new life. Next, be on the lookout for the opportunity for signs and wonders to follow. Take the time to pray for others that may be sick or going through a battle. We have been given our marching orders by the head of the church, Himself, start today to go into all the world and make disciples.
Today’s scripture reading: Matthew 28:9-20
9 And as they went to tell His disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, “Rejoice!” So they came and held Him by the feet and worshiped Him.
10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell My brethren to go to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”
11 Now while they were going, behold, some of the guard came into the city and reported to the chief priests all the things that had happened.
12 When they had assembled with the elders and consulted together, they gave a large sum of money to the soldiers,
13 saying, “Tell them, ‘His disciples came at night and stole Him away while we slept.’
14 And if this comes to the governor’s ears, we will appease him and make you secure.”
15 So they took the money and did as they were instructed; and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them.
17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.