"THE GOSPEL OF MATTHEW" The Great Commission (28:16-20) INTRODUCTION 1. The gospel of Matthew ends with Jesus meeting with His apostles in Galilee... a. Foretold by Jesus before His betrayal - Mt 26:31-32 b. Announced by both an angel and Jesus after His resurrection
- Mt 28:7,10 2. It was a meeting filled with mixed emotions - Mt 28:16-17 a. Seeing Jesus, they worshipped Him b. Yet some were doubtful 1) It is unlikely this refers to the apostles, for they had seen Jesus earlier - cf. Jn 20:19-20,24-29 2) This may have been the occasion where over 500 saw Him at once, and some may have wondered what they were seeing - cf. 1Co 15:6 3. It was a meeting in which Jesus gave His disciples a command
- Mt 28:18-20 a. To make disciples of all the nations b. Baptizing and teaching them -- Ending with a promise to always be with them [This command is commonly called "The Great Commission". As we take a few moments to look at it more closely, we may better understand what was so "great" about it...] I. GREAT IN ITS AUTHORITY A. JESUS HAS BEEN GIVEN "ALL AUTHORITY"... 1. As the Creator, He had the original right to all things - Co 1:16-17 2. As our Redeemer, even more so! - Php 2:6-11 B. "ALL AUTHORITY" BOTH IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH... 1. He now rules in the heavenly realm - 1Pe 3:22; Ep 1:20-23 2. He also rules over the kings of the earth! - Re 1:5; Ps 2: 1-12; 110:1-6 C. WITH "ALL AUTHORITY" IN HEAVEN AND ON EARTH... 1. Jesus certainly deserves our obedience to Him as Lord - Ac 2: 36; Lk 6:46 2. Jesus certainly can deliver on His promises - 2Pe 1:2-5 [On the basis of such great authority, Jesus gives "The Great Commission". As we continue, we notice that it is...] II. GREAT IN ITS MISSION A. THEY WERE TO "MAKE DISCIPLES"... 1. The KJV says "teach", the Greek word means "to make disciples" 2. Thus they were to make "learners", "adherents", "imitators" of Jesus Christ a. Jesus had been inviting people to become His disciples all along - Mt 4:18-22; 11:28-30 b. He expected His disciples to become like Him - Lk 6:40 B. HOW THEY WERE TO "MAKE DISCIPLES"... 1. First, by "baptizing them" in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit a. A baptism for the remission of sins - Ac 2:38; 22:16 b. A baptism in water - Ac 8:35-38; 10:47-48 c. A burial - Ro 6:3-6; Col 2:11-12 2. Then by "teaching them to observe all things" He had commanded a. Baptism is only the beginning, teaching must continue b. Such was the case with the early disciples - Ac 2:41-42 -- Both baptism and ongoing teaching is essential to true discipleship! [We should also observe concerning "The Great Commission" that it was...] III. GREAT IN ITS SCOPE A. IT IS FOR "ALL NATIONS"... 1. They were to go into all the world, and preach to every creature - Mk 16:15 2. They were to be witnesses to the uttermost parts of the earth - Ac 1:8 B. FOR "ALL NATIONS", NOT JUST ISRAEL... 1. With the Limited Commission, it was just for Israel - Mt 10: 5-6 2. Now the Gentiles (all nations) could become fellow-heirs
- Ep 2:11-22 C. FOR "ALL NATIONS", NOT JUST OUR OWN... 1. Jesus would have us think "globally", not just locally 2. While we should be mindful of our local community, we should also be thinking of those abroad [Finally, we note concerning "The Great Commission" that it is...] IV. GREAT IN ITS PROMISE A. "I AM WITH YOU ALWAYS"... 1. A promise similar to those Jesus made earlier: a. To His apostles - Mt 18:20 b. To those who keep His commandments - Jn 14:18-23 2. A promise similar to those God gave to: a. Moses - Exo 3:11-12 b. Joshua - Josh 1:5 c. The nation of Israel - Isa 41:10 3. A promise that ought to provide much comfort when oppressed - Ro 8:31-38; He 13:5-6 B. "EVEN TO THE END OF THE AGE"... 1. Even to the time when: a. The Great Harvest will occur - Mt 13:39-43 b. The wicked shall be separated from the just - Mt 13:49 2. Throughout this Christian age or dispensation, Jesus will forever be with His disciples a. As they go into all the world b. Making more disciples CONCLUSION 1. Is "The Great Commission" limited just to the apostles? a. Note well that disciples were to "observe all things that I commanded you" b. What did Jesus just command the apostles? (Go therefore and make disciples...) c. Future disciples were to observe all commands, including this one! -- Therefore "The Great Commission" is a commission to the church as well! 2. Do we honor "The Great Commission" in our lives? We do if we are... a. Submitting to the authority of Jesus b. Working to make disciples of Jesus c. Striving to make disciples in all the nations of the world d. Abiding in His Word and thereby ensuring His abiding presence in our lives Shortly after giving "The Great Commission", Jesus ascended to heaven (Ac 1:9-11). His earliest disciples took that commission and did great things with it. May these words of Jesus motivate us to do great things in our service to Him also!