- Sermon Notes
Committed to the Greatest Commission
This morning we come to the final verses in the book of Matthew. It is a section of Scripture known as the great commission and comes after Jesus’ resurrection when the disciples meet Jesus at a particular mountain Jesus had told them to go to in Galilee.
It is one of the final times the disciples would see Jesus prior to His being lifted up and taken into heaven (Acts 1:9-11). Both before Jesus’ crucifixion and after His resurrection, the disciples are told that Jesus would meet His disciples in Galilee. That He was insistent they meet Him in Galilee gives the understanding that what would happen there at the place and in that meeting was important! It was in Galilee that we initially see Jesus call His first disciples with the words “follow me!”
Matthew 28:16 tells us that the 11 disciples went to the mountain Jesus had designated, and what we will see is that Jesus after reminding the disciples of the call, to follow Him, and it is here that they are given what is known as the great commission. To commission a person or a group, is to give an authoritative order, charge, or direction. When a person is commissioned, they are granted the authority for a particular action or function.
In Matthew 28:18-20, as Jesus meets His disciples in Galilee, He gives a commission. The 11 disciples had responded to the call to follow Him, they had learned from Him, walked with Him, were challenged by Him, and their lives were changed by Him. And with that all in mind it is here we see the great commission given.
Matthew 28:18-20, And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
While the 11 disciples are referenced here specifically, the commission given is not only the 11 disciples, but to all who decide to follow Jesus, including you and I.
This is consistently seen throughout Scripture. In 2 Corinthians 5:19 we read; He has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 2 Peter 3:9, tells us the Lord does not want any to perish but for all to come to repentance. 1 Timothy 2:4, the Lord wants all people to be saved and come to a knowledge of the truth. John 3:16, God so loved the world that He gave His only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have eternal life.
In Matthew 28, Jesus begins with these words, “all authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.” When one has authority they have, by definition, the power to determine, adjudicate, command, determine, and control. The word in the original language used (exousia), refers to the freedom and right to speak and act as one pleases. That freedom and right are absolute and unlimited.
Ephesians 1:21, Far above all rule and authority and power and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in the one to come.
All authority has been given to Jesus, He tells His disciples, you, me and all throughout history this fact. And it is wonderful to know that we are saved by and serve the Savior that has all authority and is above it all. After telling and reminding of that authority, Jesus gives a commission. The commission, as noted is an authoritative order, charge or direction. The commission is what is given to you and me and after being saved, choosing to follow Christ personally, it is what He desires us to do in our lives in light of His authority.
With all authority, Jesus says, “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you…”
In Matthew 28:18-20, the central commission given is to “make disciples.” To be a disciple means more than just a “student” or “learner” of another person. To be a disciple is to be a “follower,” it is to line up behind another person, to adhere completely to the teachings of another, making those teaching the rule of one’s life and conduct.
Jesus tells His disciples, to “go and make disciples.” They had come to follow Him, and now Jesus points them to the commission. The disciples, then committed to the commission, and through their commitment to go and make disciples of all nations, the gospel message would go to all the world, and many would come to know and follow Christ. The ministry would go out to the world and as a result, the lives of many have been forever changed.
For the rest of the message this morning, I want to give elements of my own testimony in Jesus Christ. I will do this by sharing of those who have helped make me a disciple for Christ by their commitment to the greatest commission, my commitment to the same with the message and hope I have been given, and help you identify opportunity to make disciples in your situation and the life you have been given.
- Be Moved to Make Disciples
- Go with What You’ve Been Given
III. Take Advantage of Your Every Opportunity
And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”