By Lane Corley
ALEXANDRIA, La. – Hudson Taylor, missionary to China in the 1800’s, may have been the one to popularize the term Great Commission for Jesus’ last command to his followers on earth.
Matthew 28:18-20 CSB – “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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 everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
What’s so great about the Great Commission? For starters:
- Jesus said it. This is a directive straight from the Master himself. And it’s the last words he left with his followers. This statement makes it clear what Jesus wanted and expected the cause of our lives to be as his people until his return.
- It’s repeated in all four gospels. The four Gospels vary on some details about the life of Jesus. Some version of this Great Commission is repeated in all of them, as well as in the beginning of Acts. This tells us that this statement left an indelible mark on his followers and served as a highlight of Jesus’ teaching in their hearts and minds.
- If we obey it, people are changed for eternity. Obedience to the great commission means communicating the gospel which will result in people being included in eternal life in Heaven forever. Neglect means the opposite.
- Jesus did it and so did his first followers. If we want to follow the example of Christ and the early church, we’ll busy ourselves with going, making disciples, baptizing, and teaching them to obey the commands of Christ.
- If you’re a Christian today, it’s because someone else took it seriously.
The question is: Do I live like this commission is GREAT? Do I take it seriously? Does my church take it seriously? Unfortunately, many of us as Christians LIVE like the Great Commission is NO BIG DEAL.
How can we make Jesus’ commission GREAT?
- Get serious about how to be and make disciples.
- Give to and pray for those who are on the front lines of making disciples worldwide.
- Take responsibility for your home, neighborhood, and work place.
- Use your gifts to serve through a local church that is purposing to make disciples.
- Pray for those around you and look for opportunities to start conversations about the gospel.
Lane Corley is a church planting strategist for Louisiana Baptists and is pastor of the Bridge Church in Madisonville.