Matthew 28:18-20 is such a familiar passage for many of us. You may even be able to quote it from memory, but the thought that has been running through my head in recent days is this: Are we really fulfilling this Great Commission? The Matthew 28 says the following:
And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
These are some of Jesus’ last words to His disciples and they carry such an incredible weight. It is an intimidating thing to think that as Jesus’ followers this task of making disciples falls on our shoulders. But the truth is that God would not call us to a task that He was unwilling to equip us to accomplish. Consider these two incredible promises contained in these three verses.
Often when we think of the Great Commission, we leave out these two crucial promises from God’s Word. This “going and making disciples” can be a scary and intimidating task in today’s world. What if God calls me to go to Iran to share the gospel? What if God calls me to share the gospel with my co-worker? What if God calls me to go across the street and share the gospel with my neighbor?
If you are having fearful thoughts like these as you read this let me go ahead and burst your bubble – God has already called you to do those things!!! It’s called the Great Commission.
Because of the two incredible promises above, we can approach this task not with fear but with confidence.
Who has all authority in heaven and earth? Jesus says that He does! (v. 18)
Who has promised to be with us always and to the end of time? Jesus has promised that He will be with us – always! (v. 20)
So if the one who has all authority both in heaven and on earth is with us wherever we go and whatever we do...and we are going and doing what He has commanded us to do... then how could we possibly fail?
So back to the title of this blog post – are we making disciples? We often think of the Great Commission simply in terms of our evangelistic witness, but Jesus was calling us to a much greater task. We are called to make disciples! So the better question is not just, "To whom am I witnessing?" but rather, "Into whose life am I investing my time, effort, energy and love in order to help them become a disciple of Jesus Christ?"
Everyone who claims to be a follower of Jesus Christ is called into the work of the Great Commission. Who will fulfill this calling and complete this work if not those of us who already follow Jesus as our Lord and Savior? There is no plan B here. The Great Commission is our calling. It is my calling and it is your calling. As followers of Christ we are called to be disciple makers – there is simply no denying this truth.
Let’s be about the work of the Great Commission. Let’s be disciple makers by witnessing to people, baptizing those who believe, and teaching these new brothers and sisters in Christ to observe all that Christ has commanded us. If we become a Church committed to the Great Commission, we will be amazed at the things we will see God accomplish through our faithfulness working in His power all for His Glory!