Today’s Gospel is sometimes referred to as The Great Commission.
The Dictionary defines the word Great as having considerable power and it defines the word Commission as Duty. So, therefore, at least by definition, the Great Commission means a Powerful Duty.
Well, what is that Powerful Duty?
Matthew 28:16-20 is the last recorded narrative of the encounter Jesus had with his disciples and the final words of Jesus close the Gospel reading.
Directed to return to Galilee where they would meet up with their Lord, the disciples followed their directions yet again, not knowing what they would encounter, but traveling by faith. They went back to Galilee where it all began, and in again where a new beginning would begin again.
I can only imagine what this journey to Galilee must have been like. I’m sure their hushed conversations were filled with questions, reflections, disbelief, and what next? They couldn’t have known what was going to happen on that mountaintop and they probably couldn’t imagine how important the words that Jesus would speak to them would be.
The world the Disciples knew had ended. They lost everything, or so they thought, and the hope and plan for what happens next lay on top of that mountain.
When the eleven disciples gathered on that mountain, Jesus came and said to them: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
A simple three sentences packed with huge implications.
The Great Commission.
Jesus didn’t tell the disciples or for that matter Us, to make money or build buildings, or programs, or services. He commanded them and us to spread the Great News so that more people would believe in God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit…That our sins would be forgiven and that life everlasting through the resurrection is a real thing.
In other words, to spread the good news of Jesus Christ throughout the world.
- What we learn from this three-sentence paragraph is:
- Jesus has all authority given to him,
- we are to make disciples of all nations
- we are to teach
- we should obey all that he commanded during his earthly life
- the promise that closes is that he will be with us always.
These four “alls” capture much of what the paragraph intends to communicate and also the central message of the Gospel of Matthew.
This is Our Great Commission
I leave you with my take on the words that Paul concludes his 2nd letter to the believers Corinth….
Get your lives together
Live in Peace
Take time to meditate and pray
Be a Good Disciple
May the Peace and Love of God Be with you Always