The Greatness of the Call of God’s Church
Jesus’ closing words in Matthew’s Gospel include one command that is carried out in three ways. The one command is to make disciples of the nations. The three approaches to carry out the command are going, baptizing, and teaching. We can summarize these global discipleship tasks as cross-cultural ministry, evangelism, and Christian education. This is the Commission given by Jesus to His disciples and to His Church.
In regards to the end-times, Jesus says, “The end is still to come” (Matthew 24:6-8). He announces that the good news about the kingdom will be proclaimed among all peoples, and “then the end will come” (Matthew 24:14). This must also be the heartbeat captured and carried out by the Church of Jesus Christ! Discipleship from Matthew’s perspective is not limited to evangelism; it includes training. It must involve multiplying the work by trusting Christ’s teaching to multiply equally committed labourers for the harvest and relying on the empowering of the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:8). Those who are to “make disciples” of the nations must understand what discipleship involves. Jesus’ followers are not to make disciples for themselves, but only for Jesus, the only true “Rabbi” (Matthew23:8).
The Gospel emphasizes Jesus’ authority repeatedly before climaxing at this point (see Matthew 7:29; 8:9; 9:8; 21:27). His authority is repeated demonstrated as authority over sickness, demons and nature. Now that heavenly authority has been delegated to Jesus and the message is now not simply that “heaven” will reign, but more specifically, that the reigning God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit (Matthew 28:19).
The Church of Jesus Christ shall prevail as Jesus is the one that called us to partner with Him in this great cause on earth! Matthew 28:20 emphasizes that Jesus will be with us “until the end of the age”: He will be with us in the task of discipling the nations (28:19)!
• Have you personalised this call of Jesus in your life? If so, how have you been involved in fulfilling this call in your life and through your church?
• Which part of the three approaches in the great commission do you think you can be more involved in? How can you partner with Jesus in fulfilling this call?