THE GREAT COMMISSION
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and made disciples of all nations teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” (Matt 28:18-20 ESV).
“Jesus commanded his disciples and now commands us also to teach believers to observe all that he commanded.”1
“Men are ignorant of Divine things, and must be taught. Only those can be considered as proper teachers of the ignorant who are thoroughly instructed in whatsoever Christ has commanded.”2
Now to teach all that Jesus commanded, in a narrow sense, is simply to teach the content of the oral teaching of Jesus as it is recorded in the gospel narratives. However, in a broader sense, ‘all that Jesus commanded’ also include the Epistles, since they were written under the supervision of the Holy Spirit. Furthermore the New Testament epistles also endorse this view of the Old Testament as absolutely authoritative words of God, then it becomes evident that we cannot teach ‘all that Jesus commanded’ without including all of the Old Testament as well.3
“[T]here is only one method of evangelism: namely, the faithful explanation and application of the gospel message. [T]he test for any proposed strategy of evangelistic action must be this: will it in fact serve the word?”4
“These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them [to].proclaim as you go saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” (Matt 10:5,7 ESV). “[H]e gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction”(Matt 10:1 ESV).
To call persons to the ministry belongs only to Him who can give them power to cast out unclean spirits.”5 “[T]hey were to make disciples who obeyed the commands they had received.”6
[T]hree things Jesus did to shape disciples. Observation: He let them listen and watch as He lived. Impartation: He made sure they had authority and power in His name. Delegation: He sent them out to do what they had seen Him do—heal and deliver, both spiritually and physically, the helpless and harassed.7
Imagine what kind of disciples we might develop if we employed His simple, focused method: powerfully declare and demonstrate His kingdom, make sure disciples are filled with spiritual authority and power, and place them in front of dire human need that only the power of God can meet.8
(24) Following His Lead
1. Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994) 27.
2. Adam Clarke, “Commentary on Matthew 28:20,” 1832, Adam Clarke Commentary 22 June 2021 https://www.studylight.org/commentary/matthew-28.html.
3. Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994) 27.
4. J.I. Packer, Evangelism and the Sovereignty of God (Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity Press, 1979) 86.
5. Adam Clarke, “Commentary on Matthew 10:1,” 1832, Adam Clarke Commentary 15 February 2021 https://www.studylight.org/commentary/matthew/10-1.html#verse-acc.
6. Doug Newton, Fresh Eyes on Famous Bible Sayings (Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2018) 139.
7. Newton, 141.
8. Newton, 142.
9. “ . . . he . . . gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal every disease and every affliction” (Matthew 10:1 ESV).
10. “These twelve Jesus sent out, instructing them . . . proclaim as you go saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’” (Matthew 10:5,7 ESV).