The Great Commission
Within the passages described by many devoted disciples of Jesus called the great commission located in: Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:14-20, Luke 24:45-49, John 20:19-23, and Acts 1:4-8. There are certain elements that compose this commission and those are:
- the specific act of teaching what Jesus had taught (commanded Matt. 28:20) (gospel Mark 16:15) (suffering of Christ, resurrection of Jesus on 3rd day, repentance and forgiveness of sins Luke 24:46-47) .
- The action of physical baptism of those who accept those teachings. (Matt 28:19) (belief and baptism Mark 16:16)
- A physical location (all nations Matt 28:19) (all the world, and whole creation Mark 16:15) (beginning from Jerusalem Luke 24:47), (Jerusalem Acts 1:4)
- Audience. (disciples Matt 28:16) (disciples “to them” Mark 16:15), (they, you are witnesses Luke 24:36,48), (disciples John 20:19), (them-disciples Acts 1:4)
- Supplemental Information (with you always Matt 28:20) (believes, saved or condemned, supernatural occurrences Mark 16:16), (sins forgiven or forgiveness withheld John 20:23).
When you look at the elements that make up the commission. It is clear that what is taught can be found within the New Testament writings. The gospel records overflow with not only the teachings of Christ regarding the condition of the heart and the hearts relationship with God and man, but also the forgiveness of sins and how this is possible. The documents show prophetic fulfillment by connecting those prophecies with the old testament. Jesus masterfully expounds on the law and he shows the fulfillment of the law by his life. This shows us that teaching what Jesus taught concerning law is equal to its practice.
Baptism is also an essential action that must be done. This is done to make a disciple and provide a person with the remission of sins. This is seen in the teaching of Jesus by way of commandment and its continued instruction as command and practice by the early church. The audience of this commission are his disciples. You can read of the early history of the church in Acts, and how these disciples dealt with issues that arose within the church in different areas. These were to carry forth his teachings starting in Jerusalem and then spreading those teachings throughout the world. This is done by making disciples.
We also learn that where the disciples go, Jesus goes. When the message is received and one is baptized then one is saved, and that rejection of baptism equals to the rejection of the message and one condemns oneself. We are also exposed to the some of the power that will accompany those disciples as they teach. This power will confirm exactly who they are and who sent them to teach. Only those who are given this power by God or by the laying on of hands by the Apostles have the abilities clearly seen by any objective observer.
Even though about 2,000 years have passed, this does not give his disciples an excuse to stop working. May the Lord return to find his disciples hard at work, enduring with faith, hope, and love.