What comes to mind when you think about the Great Commission? Many followers of Jesus feel intimidated because it’s the “great” commission. They think because it’s “great” it must be meant for “great” Christians. That’s simply not the case. The commission is “great” because it has to do with the gospel…not WHO it was given to.
The Great Commission is the everyday mission given to every Christ follower for every moment of their everyday lives. Jesus’ charge to “make disciples” wasn’t just given to His closest companions. It was given to every one of His followers, including us!
Before you freak out, there is a very important promise associated with Jesus’ mission in Matthew 28:18-20. Before He commands us to make disciples…Jesus tells us, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” And after He commissions us to “go”…Jesus assures us, “I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Jesus promises His presence to all who join Him in His mission. He promises that any person, any family, any church that commits itself to doing what Jesus did can expect His presence to be actively working with them!
Part of the reason we don’t experience the presence of Jesus is because we’re NOT participating in the mission of Jesus!
But how? How do we make disciples who will make other disciples? Thankfully Jesus gives us three actions we can all put into practice. “Go…Baptize…Teach”. These three verbs show us what disciple making looks like.
First, we are to “go”. The verb “go” literally means “as you go”. It’s not a special event like a mission trip or a church program like Tuesday night visitation. What Jesus is saying is, “where you are on map, is where you are on mission”. In other words, “as you go” to work, grocery store, and school you are to carry the Gospel where you live, work, & play!
Second, Jesus says we are to “baptize”. Baptism is an external expression of an internal change. Baptism marks the public declaration that someone has crossed the line of faith and is now a disciple of Jesus. Part of making disciples is helping people take their next step toward faith in Christ.
Finally, Jesus says to “teach”. Teaching is not about standing in front of a classroom and lecturing people. It’s about helping people learn from Jesus and follow Jesus by obeying Scripture. Making disciples is so much more than curriculum you complete or a church activity you attend. It is about engaging in a life-long process of obedience.