God WILL help us to fulfill His ‘GREAT COMMISSION’: And Jesus came 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 of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen. (Matt 28:18-20)
In these last verses of the Gospel of Matthew, Jesus was speaking of His authority as the Head of the new creation. Since His death and resurrection, He had authority to give eternal life to all whom God had given to Him (John 17:2). Since He had completed the work of redemption for all humans required as per the law, He had authority as the first-born from the dead: “that in all things He may have the preeminence” (Col. 1:15, 18).
As the Head of the new creation, Jesus issued the Great Commission, containing “standing orders” for all believers to do before His return, which contains three ‘commands’:
- “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations”: By preaching the gospel, the disciples were to see others become learners or followers of the Savior—from every nation, tribe, people, and tongue. Discipleship is intended to extend to an international audience, which includes all people groups. The need is not just for truth to be taught but for transformation to take place in the life of every disciple.
- “Baptize them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit”: In believer’s baptism, Christians publicly identify themselves with the Triune Godhead. They acknowledge that God is their Father, that Jesus Christ is their Lord and Savior, and that the Holy Spirit is the One who indwells, empowers, and teaches them. The focus of the Trinitarian baptismal confession is faith in Jesus, who deserves His rightful place along with God the Father and God the Spirit.
- “Teach them to observe all things that I have commanded you”: This Great Commission goes beyond evangelism – the baptized believers must be taught to obey the commandments of Christ found in the New Testament. The core curriculum for discipleship is the life and teachings of Jesus.
Then Jesus added a promise of His abiding presence with His disciples until the end of the age. He will be with us and will see us through. He will never leave us alone, but will walk with us strengthening, loving and filling us with faith, hope and love. The presence of the Savior and the power of the Spirit (Acts 1:8) are God’s twin certainties that we are to lay hold of and continually keep dear to our hearts as we serve our risen Lord until He comes. The promise of the abiding presence of Jesus’ ministry throughout the present age lends comforting assurance for such a daunting task as a worldwide mission.
Let us sense and practice His presence every moment of every day, as we faithfully obey His command. For He Himself has said, "I will never leave you nor forsake you." So we may boldly say: "The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?" (Heb 13:5-6). God will definitely help us fulfill His Great Commission!