The Miracles of Jesus
The Great Commission
Not everyone learns or understands instructions the same way. I can read an instruction manual to put together a bookcase. But for me, doing so is very difficult as I am very meticulous when I put things together. I learn best by example. Once someone has shown me how to do something several times, I become a master of doing that job.
Let’s take a moment to read Jesus’ final instructions to His disciples from the book of Matthew.
“Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.
Then Jesus came to them and 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.”
The passage you just read was the final words Jesus said to His followers before He ascended into heaven. Jesus had been on a mission His whole life, but His most fruitful years had been His last three.
During those last three years of His life, Jesus’ ministry moved forward like a runaway train. He was Baptized, tested by Satan, taught non-stop, and performed an innumerable amount of miracles. Jesus healed, cared for others, served others, was arrested without just cause, beaten, sentenced to death, crucified on a cross, buried, and finally rose from the dead. And He did all of that for you and me.
One of the first lines that strikes me in the passage from Matthew is when he says, “Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.”
It’s difficult to understand what some of them doubted. The disciples had traveled with Jesus for three years. From everything we’ve read in the Gospel accounts, we know that Jesus led by example. Jesus taught His twelve followers, now eleven, so much. And, He reiterated many of His teachings over and over again. (Much like the way I learn)
Did the disciples doubt Jesus’ teachings? I doubt it. Did they doubt that He was the Son of God? Probably not. Did they not believe that Jesus rose from the dead? Definitely not! He was standing right in front of them on many occasions after His death.
So, what did some of the disciples doubt? Probably they didn’t grasp what was in store for them next. In just three verses, Jesus enlightens them.
Jesus gave four distinct instructions in His final address to His followers.
- Go – What does “Go” mean to you? (Think about it; you can’t make disciples by sitting in your house. You have to go out and meet the people, be an example through your actions, and talk to others about Jesus whenever you can.)
- Make disciples – What does “Make disciples” mean to you? (In Greek, the word disciples means “learner.” Just as we need to read and hear about God’s plan and His Son Jesus, we as learners need to cultivate other learners and believers.)
- Teach – What does “Teach” mean to you in this passage? (We are to pass on Christ’s teachings, both verbally, by our actions, and through His words in the Bible.)
- Baptize – I thought only Pastors could baptize; what do make of the statement concerning baptism Jesus made? (By instructing and teaching others about Jesus, we can help them get baptized through the Holy Spirit. Remember what Jesus said in John 3; you must be baptized through water and the Word of God to be reborn.)
Finally, Jesus makes a promise, “And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus promised to be with us always. He lives with us in our hearts. And through The Holy Spirit, who is our guide and helper throughout our life.
Remember … Jesus’ words in the Great Commission are not suggestions. They are instructions from the Son of God.
Dear Jesus. Help us to not only remember your “Great Commission” but also fulfill it. Help us to, Go, Teach, Baptize and make disciples in your name. Amen.
(This is my final Lenten/Easter devotion in the series, The Miracles of Jesus. I pray you have enjoyed reading the 50 devotions I’ve posted over the last two months, as I did, writing them.) Joe G