Blog Devotionals

There is More to the Great Commission Than You Might Realize

March 13, 2023 | Sam Rainer

Start today by reading Matthew 28:16-20, commonly known as the Great Commission.

“Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!

Jesus came and told his disciples, ‘I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’” (NLT)

Eleven disciples (minus Judas) go to the mountain in Galilee where Jesus told them to meet Him after His resurrection. Some scholars believe this place is where the twelve were chosen. Remember all the disciples have experienced—the highs and lows of Jesus’ ministry, His crucifixion, and His resurrection. I imagine their emotions were raw. Jesus then gathers them and speaks to them for the last time before He ascends to heaven. It’s a critical moment.  What does Jesus say? First, He makes a great claim of all authority in verse 18. Then He makes a great command of reaching all nations in verse 19. Lastly, He makes a great promise of always being with us in verse 20. All authority. All nations. Always. The emphasis of the Great Commission is clear.

But there are also five actions contained within the Great Commission. Notice the action verbs: go, make, baptize, teach, and remember.

Go implies crossing borders. Go across the street. Go on a mission trip. Go to dinner with an unsaved friend. Go outside your comfort zone. Go!

Make demonstrates how disciples are shaped and formed. We’re all a “work in progress” waiting for God to finish His good work in us. None of us “arrive” spiritually on our own. Instead, we are a family of people in progress working together as God shapes us.

Baptize reveals God’s work among us through the Trinity. Why would we baptize in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? The Father’s love is given to us. The Son’s sacrifice is for us. And the Holy Spirit’s presence is with us.

Teach means to keep on teaching. Our journey of discipleship takes a lifetime. So we should never stop growing and learning more about God and His Word.

Remember, God is with us through it all. He will never leave us nor forsake us. There is so much to the Great Commission. We’ll discuss even more on Sunday.