The Great Commission – What is it?

Just before He ascended to heaven, but after His death and resurrection, Jesus instructed His disciples what they were to be about, what their mission was. His instruction is known as the Great Commission: "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).

The original Greek gives one direct command: Make disciples. The instructions to "go," "baptize," and "teach" are indirect; they are part of what it means to make disciples. Christian disciples are followers of Christ who believe and obey His teachings. To make disciples is to teach others to follow Jesus.

When do we make disciples? The meaning of the word "Go" indicates less of a command to leave where you are and travel somewhere else, and more the sense of "as you are going." In other words, as you are going along in your life, doing what you do, that is when you are to make disciples.

How do we make disciples? By baptizing and teaching what Jesus commanded. We are blessed to have the four Gospels and the rest of the Bible so we can know His direction, the example He made for us, and the instruction the apostles left for us. And, of course, we also have the Holy Spirit. We make disciples by following and obeying God and training others to do the same.

Some Christians combine Acts 1:8 with the traditional Great Commission in Matthew. Here Jesus tells His followers, "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth."

Copyright 2011-2024 Got Questions Ministries - All Rights Reserved.