As Jesus approached the end of his earthly ministry, he spent a lot of time with his disciples. He taught them many things about the Kingdom of God, the nature of God, and how to live a life that pleases God.
One of the most important things he said to them was his last words before he ascended into heaven. These words are recorded in the Gospel of Matthew and have become known as The Great Commission.
Before we dive into what Jesus said, it’s important to understand the context in which he spoke those words. Jesus had just risen from the dead and had spent 40 days with his disciples, appearing to them at various times and places. During this time, he had taught them more about the Kingdom of God and had given them instructions about what they were supposed to do once he was gone.
The Great Commission
It is in this context that Jesus spoke his last words to his disciples. As recorded in Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV), Jesus said:
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.
And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. “
These words have become known as The Great Commission because they contain Jesus’ final instructions to his followers about what they were supposed to do once he was gone. Let’s break down these instructions into their component parts.
1. All Authority
Jesus begins by reminding his disciples that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him. This is an important statement because it establishes Jesus’ authority over all things. It means that he has power over everything that happens in the world, both spiritual and physical.
2. Go and Make Disciples
The next part of Jesus’ instructions is for his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations. This means that they were supposed to share the good news of Jesus with everyone they met, regardless of where they came from or what their background was.
3. Baptizing Them
Once someone had become a disciple, they were supposed to be baptized in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Baptism is a symbolic act that represents dying to one’s old way of life and being raised to new life in Christ.
4. Teaching Them to Obey
Finally, Jesus instructed his disciples to teach new believers everything he had commanded them. This means that they were supposed to teach people how to live a life that pleases God by following Jesus’ example.
Jesus ended his instructions with a promise: “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” This promise reminds us that we are not alone in our mission to make disciples. Jesus is with us every step of the way, giving us the strength and guidance we need to fulfill his commission.
In conclusion, The Great Commission is one of the most important things Jesus said to his disciples before he ascended into heaven. It contains instructions for how we are supposed to live as followers of Christ – by making disciples, baptizing them, and teaching them everything Jesus commanded us.
It also contains a promise – that Jesus is with us always – which gives us hope and confidence as we carry out this mission. As followers of Christ today, let’s take these words seriously and do our best to fulfill this great commission given by Our Lord.