Sharing Jesus is an Order
Jesus is clear about you sharing your faith. Telling others about Him is an essential part of who you are as His disciples. Preaching the Gospel is mandatory. Ever hear anyone say that our faith is personal and we should keep it ourselves? They are contradicting Jesus. He paid for the right to tell us what to do with His blood. He loves the whole world too much to let the spreading of the Gospel be a gray area.
Jesus’ command is called the Great Commission, not the Great Suggestion.
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 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, 20 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.”
Matthew 28:18-20 Matthew 28:18-20
What does Jesus Tell Us to Do?
Jesus starts the Great Commission with a reminder of His authority. Heaven and earth are at His fingertips. There is nothing in existence Jesus is not in charge of. This is unimaginable power. He then exercises this sovereignty ordering you to “Go, make disciples, baptize and teach“. Ever wonder what you are called to do in your Christian life? Here is Jesus’ direct answer to you. Can it be any clearer?
You know what go means. You understand what make disciples mean. It is obvious what teach means and it is God speaking. Do you know the weight Jesus attaches to this command? It is not a suggestion?
Jesus spoke with the clear expectation that the listener will do what He says. Jesus is your commander. You are His servant. It is logical to follow His orders.
You see a background for this in Jesus’ interaction with a Centurion in Matthew 8. You will recall this is where Jesus heals the servant of the Centurion from a distance. There is more to the encounter, though. It is an account of one Gentile soldiers understanding of Jesus’ true standing. This one soldier gets that all authority in heaven and earth lies with Jesus.
A Centurion is a commander of a hundred soldiers. In the passage, he comes with the request that Jesus heal his servant. When Jesus offers to come to his house to do the healing, the Centurion clearly understands with whom he is speaking. The Centurion objects in response saying:
The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that You should come under my roof. But only speak a word, and my servant will be healed. 9 For I also am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this one, ‘Go,’ and he goes; and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes; and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”
The Centurion has an understanding of Jesus’ authority that is astounding. He himself gets how the Roman Army works. He has great unquestioned authority as a commander to order Roman soldiers around. They listen to him as he is in charge. The great might of the Roman Army backs him up. He tells a soldier to “Go” and that soldier goes without a second thought. It is how command works.
This foreign soldier applies the same absolute authority to Jesus. Yes, Jesus’ power is monumentally greater but it is the same principle. When Jesus gives an order the entire universe is required to follow it. He has absolute command over heaven, hell, man, stars, disease and death itself. He is THE LORD of all Lords.
Jesus just needs to speak a word, any command and it will be done. The King of all kings is obeyed without question.
All Authority Belongs to Jesus
This unquestioned authority is present in the Great Commission. The word “Go” used by the Centurion in Matthew 8 is the same word in the same form Jesus chooses to use in the Great Commission, Matthew 28. Do you grasp the significance of Jesus’ use of the same form of command?
You are commanded by Jesus to go. You are expected to listen and go. It is the only reasonable reaction to the King’s order. Are you following orders and going?
Obey Your Commander Jesus and be Rewarded
The form of the word translated “Go” in both passages is also one that assumes activity. It is like Jesus saying “as you are going”. It assumes two important things. First, you are obeying the Lord, as we have looked at. The second is equally important. That you are going in a continual, moment by moment, and regular manner. As you are going to the store, preach the Gospel. As you are going to work, the bank, to a ball game, to church, to your child’s bedroom to tuck her in, preach the Gospel. It is a simple all-encompassing direction that every single Christian is charged to follow.
Are you listening to your Savior?
Are reading this and onboard with the concept? Do you feel you want to go and make disciples but just don’t feel equipped? Here is where the reward comes in.
One more word to look at from the passage may help. Jesus promises you as you go, teach, baptize, and follow His lead that He will be with you always, even to the end of the age. This word translated always is not a passive one. It does not mean Jesus chilling up in heaven while you do the dangerous hard work here. It is an expression from ancient Greek that means essentially every second of every day. Jesus’s promise is as you go, teach, baptize, He will be right there beside you every second of the way. If you are persecuted for the Gospel, Jesus will be there with you experiencing it. If you are scared, weary, discouraged, or losing hope, Jesus is right beside you will all the authority available over heaven and earth. What a wonderful reward He offers!
Do you want to know Jesus better? Do you want to be more like Him? His promise can be your reality as His disciple. You just need to trust what He already told you.
Do you believe it?
Are you following the order of our Commander-in-Chief, the King of Kings?