I have added the 18th verse to give proper context to the message. Jesus was given all authority in heaven and earth by God Himself and therefore He had the right to give this commission to all His disciples then and those who would follow as a result of their sharing the Gospel and to all of us who have become Christians since the time of the disciples. This is our Great Commission as it was theirs.
If you remember last week, I mentioned that these are the two mandates of God’s, to love the Lord God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind and all your strength and to love your neighbor as yourself and this one, which we have just read. Last week we spoke of the first one and today we will discuss the second one.
What is a “commission?” The Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary gives us a great understanding of this word. A commission is, "a formal written warrant granting the power to perform various acts or duties or an authorization or command to act in a prescribed manner or to perform prescribed acts or authority to act for, in behalf of, or in place of another or a task or matter entrusted to one as an agent for another or a group of persons directed to perform some duty or an act of entrusting or giving authority.” There were other definitions but these are the ones that apply to this word for us today.
Jesus did say this “Great Commission” but Matthew recorded it, so it was a written warrant giving power to perform certain acts or duties. Jesus did give this statement, with all the authority of God behind it, saying that this was to be done just like He prescribed and that those who acted in completing this commission were doing it on behalf of Jesus, since He was leaving them physically and going back to the Father. Jesus did entrust this commission to those He loved and believed that they would actually work to complete it. We who follow Jesus have been given the authority to go, to baptize, make disciples and to teach. This is the commission of Christ to His followers and we are to do this with all our hearts under the mandate of loving God first and then loving our neighbor enough to share this Gospel.
NABC has been about the business of Jesus, sharing His Gospel to all people. From the early times we shared the Gospel here in Anderson and the surrounding area, and we have been sending people out to share further away. We have gone to or sent others to: Ohio, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Florida, West Virginia, Kentucky and within South Carolina. These are the places that I can recall here in the USA. But we have also sent people to: Haiti, Cuba, Africa, Brazil, Venezuela, Sierra Leone, and Guatemala. The commission of Christ includes going to the ends of the earth as is referred to in Acts 1:8,