Ignoring the First Part of the Great Commission

We often skip over Jesus’ declaration of His authority in the Great Commission, but our efforts won’t work without His power. The authority of Christ means we should not fear what this world can do to us, but it also implies we shouldn’t drag our feet with what He has called us to do.

When Jesus communicated the Great Commission to His disciples, He was forty days removed from rising from the grave after His crucifixion. He had interacted with these followers during that time, but these concluding words would serve as their marching orders in His absence. Notice how He is still the one coming near and initiating the relationship to continue.

18 Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Matthew 28:18-20

Since He rose victorious, they need not question Jesus’ authority in heaven or on earth. Due to His sovereign power, no one should fear to do what He asked.

The verb form of “go” indicates a manner of lifestyle rather than a simple trip. “As you are going,” make disciples.

Start in your nation, making disciples as you go, and keep going as far as possible. 

Making disciples is paramount to our calling as Christians. We are not to stop at the profession of converts who verbalize initiatory faith, but we are to teach everything we have learned to others (28:20). Salvation is the starting line – not the finishing line.

Baptizing is a visible representation of an internal reality. We do it publicly so that other Christians walk alongside us in our discipleship (28:19). So we can be confident as we make disciples because Christ is with us, and Christians are around us.

All authority belongs to Jesus, so if He has called you to make disciples, what are you waiting for?