Will You Make the Great Commission Yours?
Imagine this scene. You’re standing among the disciples, marveling at the resurrected Jesus. The light of heaven on His face. He begins to speak, giving you instructions for the future. Listen carefully. Hang on every word. This is His plan for you. The Great Commission is yours: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Let’s break down Jesus’ command. When Jesus called out to the disciples at the beginning of His ministry, what did He tell them in Matthew 4:19? “Follow Me.” These two simple words invited each disciple into a relationship with the King of Kings. As they answered His call, Jesus taught them how to become “fishers of men.” He taught them the truth about who He was, why He came and about sin, forgiveness and heaven. He taught them how and why to obey God and observe His commands. Then, as they lived with Him throughout His ministry, crucifixion, resurrection and ascension, Jesus taught them how to live on earth in light of heaven.
That’s what being a disciple-maker is all about. We are called to invite everyone we meet to follow Him, to know the love and hope of the Gospel, accept Jesus as Savior and begin a relationship with Him. Then comes baptism, making a public profession of faith, saying, “I belong to Jesus!”
We teach the truths of Scripture through word and deed. We disciple one another as we seek to walk through life according to God’s Word and will. We pray and model the reality of His light in our lives. Every part of Jesus’ command to us is personal. It’s not some overarching “the church should,” “theologians can,” and “full-time missionaries are supposed to” kind of command. It’s personal.
Now, I know that God called me specifically to full-time ministry, teaching and preaching the Gospel. That’s my Great Commission. God has an incredible plan for your life, too! The Great Commission is personal! You become a disciple-maker! You say, “Follow Jesus with me!” You teach God’s Word! You live according to His will! You model His love! Be God’s love letter to the world through your words and actions! Make it your Great Commission every day!
By Carlton P. Byrd, D.Min., President