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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”Matthew 28:18-20
As a seminarian that places a LOT of focus on reaching out to new people, invitational churches and culture, and the now loaded term in our culture “Evangelism”, I wanted to break down the key points of one of the most important pieces of Scripture that most of us reference when we teach and preach about spreading the Good News, beyond the grounds of the church. So, we’re going to start right at the beginning, and work through the whole section piece by piece over the next few months.
Before giving out the specific instructions of what the disciples are being told to do, Jesus reminds them that he’s got all authority, both in heaven and on earth. This would have really gotten the attention of the disciples and should for us reading this 2000 years later. “ALL AUTHORITY” is a pretty significant statement and really lays out that what’s coming isn’t a throwaway comment. The truth is, we’re not called to do any of the things that he outlines in the Great Com- mission as a suggestion. Really, Jesus never goes around making suggestions.
Just like Jesus commands to care for our neighbor, to visit those in prison, to clothe the naked, to welcome the foreign- er and to take up our crosses, Jesus tells us to take this commission seriously.
In the next newsletter, we’ll talk about what it means to make disciples. Until then, I welcome any thoughts or questions on this, or anything else that is on your mind. Just shoot me an email, drop by during regular office hours, or grab me after worship on Sundays.