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.”
The Great Commission is one of the most significant passages in the Holy Bible. First, it’s the last recorded personal instruction given by Jesus to His disciples. Second, it’s a special calling from Jesus Christ to all His followers to take specific action while on this earth. The Great Commission instructs us to make disciples while we are going throughout the world and while we are going about our daily activities. How are we to make disciples? By baptizing them and teaching them all that Jesus commanded. “Make disciples” is the command of the Great Commission. “As you are going,” “baptizing,” and “teaching” are the means by which we fulfill the command to “make disciples.”
The Great Commission is the end of a Gospel and the beginning of faith in action for all Christians. This command from Jesus is significant because it’s a personal instruction for Christians to have a profound faith in Jesus Christ as indicated in verse 18. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” This is an incredibly powerful statement which demands faith in Jesus Christ, validating His power in the lives of Christians and their commitment to Him. This verse acts as a clear claim to Christ’s omnipotence, and therefore His deity. If Christians do not believe this statement, complete faith does not exist. Jesus is very clear about His authority in the world — it is complete and total from the beginning of time itself (John 1:1-3).
In verse 19, Jesus gives His believers specific directions to follow after they have affirmed their faith. “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.” Jesus calls all His followers to act and share the Good News of salvation throughout the world. People hear this calling and travel each year on missionary trips throughout the earth, spreading the word of Jesus Christ. Many Christians have made incredible sacrifices, traveling to remote regions of the world beyond the civilized cities into jungles and deserts. Mission fields can also be very close to home. It could be a neighbor who has not heard the Good News, or a poverty stricken area just down the road where people can’t afford Bibles. There are so many Christians in the world that are perishing and we have been instructed to GO. It is the responsibility of YOU and I to reach out to the world at large according to Acts 1:8.
The Great Commission spells out the central purpose for all believers. After salvation, our lives belong to Jesus Christ who died to purchase our freedom from sin and death. He redeemed us so that we might become useful in his Kingdom.
We don’t have to strive to fulfill the Great Commission. Remember, Christ promised that he himself would always be with us. Both his presence and his authority will accompany us as we carry out his disciple-making mission.
- Why is the great commission considered one of the most significant passages in the Holy Bible?
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