“’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 (NKJV)
Jesus was always deliberate. He never spoke or acted nonchalantly. Everything had a carefully constructed purpose beneath its surface. The miracles He performed, the people He chose as disciples, the way He engaged with and withdrew from His persecutors, and even the timing of His death and resurrection . . . all had deeper truths to be apprehended.
This is also true with the familiar passage above. If you’ve been a Christian for any length of time, this is probably one of those Scriptures you heard early on. Rightly so! It’s absolutely foundational because it’s Christ’s parting instructions to His disciples who would go on to represent Him on the earth after He ascended into heaven. We commonly refer to it as “The Great Commission.”
The disciples were commissioned to make more disciples by sharing Christ’s message with the world. And this commission has passed on to every other disciple of Jesus Christ, to every Christian from the time when it was first given to this very moment. It’s the “mission statement,” not just of the church of Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale, but of every church worldwide for all time!
As significant as this commission is, there’s added significance in how Jesus delivered it. Christ interacted with His disciples for about forty days between His resurrection and His ascension into heaven. Oftentimes, He would interact with a few of them (John 21:2) or just one of them (1 Corinthians 15:5; 7). We even have record of Him interacting with all of them minus one, Thomas (John 20:24).
Jesus didn’t always interact with all of the disciples at once. But this time He did. He wanted all of them to be present for something as important and significant as their life’s mission going forward. He didn’t want any of them to hear second hand or feel excluded in this. Jesus wanted the disciples united in community as one as they received this. He wanted it because He knew they truly needed it, as the Book of Acts goes on to reveal!
Our mission was born within a context of community, and these two dynamics are eternally linked. God wants us on mission, but not on our own. He wants us to go, but to go together as one. When we do, what He does will exceed every expectation and imagination (Ephesians 3:20)
PAUSE: How did Jesus choose to deliver The Great Commission? What’s the significance in this?
PRACTICE: Consider where God is calling you in this mission we’re on together.
PRAY: Father, give us a heart for the mission. Thank You for the mission and for including us in it. You don’t need us, but You invite us to participate alongside You and be used by You. So, use us today to be Your hands and feet in a world that desperately needs Your son. Amen.