Summary of passage: The disciples go to Galilee where Jesus told them to meet him. They worshiped him when they saw him but some doubted. Jesus said he had been given all authority in heaven and earth and to go and baptize all in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Teach them to obey all the commands and I will be with you always to the end of time.
11) According to Webster’s authority means “power to influence or command thought, opinion, or behavior; persons in command; a conclusive statement; testimony; a citation used in defense or support; convincing force or weight.”
12a) Jesus commanded his disciples to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey all the commands. Jesus promises to be with you always to the very end of the age.
b) The word “all” is repeated (more times in other translations than here). All authority, all nations, all things, all days. Jesus is speaking to every person on this planet with eternal power. Everyone is to know him from now (1st century AD) until the present moment and the future. The idea of authority and command is also repeated. Jesus has the right to tell us what to do, and therefore we must obey unconditionally. That is the scope: it applies to all of us without question and for all time.
c) Baptize them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit and teach them to obey all he has commanded.
d) Personal Question. My answer: My kids just got baptized! It was awesome! Talk about Jesus to others everywhere I go.
e) As our Lord, he has the right to command us. He tells us to do something we should do it like we expect our kids to do what we tell them to do. And he promises to be with us as we do it. With Jesus by our side, we cannot fail. Nothing is impossible. Only with him and through him will we be all we were created to be.
13) Personal Question. My answer:
Romans 5:10: Jesus’ resurrection gives us a new life with God. Live as such.
2 Corinthians 4:10-18: Fix your eyes on eternity and not the troubles of the here and now. We carry around Jesus’ life within us and we should overflow with gratitude. Do not focus on life’s circumstances but on the greater picture to come. Reflect Jesus to others in your daily walk.
Galatians 2:20: Die to self; live for Christ through faith in him. Do God’s will and not your own.
Philippians 3:10: We share in Christ’s sufferings. Our sufferings grow and change us, making us more like Jesus and better able to spread the Good News to others.
Colossians 3:1-4: Set your heart and mind on heaven and not on earthly things. For you have died and only Christ is alive in you. Remember things here on earth are only temporary and not important. God’s work is what matters and nothing else.
Conclusions: The emphasis here is on the importance of doing God’s work and following His will for your life and not yours. Also, the importance of sharing the gospel with others. As Jesus’ last words spoken to his disciples while in physical form here on earth, don’t you think they are the most important? So they should be to us also.
What a comfort Jesus’ last recorded words: “I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Can you imagine how your life would change if at every moment of every day you knew Jesus was walking with you and present in every situation (good and bad) in your life?
God was there. I was just blind.
End Notes: Jesus’ authority is what sends us, guides us, and empowers us to do his commission and nothing else.
Disciples are not converts. They are students, scholars, and learners and they are made, not born instantly. It is a life-long process to become a disciple of Christ for it takes that long to get to know him and be like him.
Note the absence of circumcision here. This new covenant does not require an outward sign anymore, only inward is what matters. Yes, baptism is an outward sign to the world, but it affects the internal more than the external.
“In” is also translated “into” so into the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
Note also the singular “name”, meaning the Son, Father, and Holy Spirit are one, not three separate deities.
Note the teaching of “all things” and not just some things in the Bible as is popular today.
We work for and with Jesus as he is with us in every moment of every day. He protects us, powers us, gives us peace in our daily lives. Each footfall is next to his but more so is behind his as well as he guides us on his path to righteousness and salvation. We cannot fail with Jesus.
Suggestion: Read the other versions of the commission. Mark focuses on Jesus’ chastisement of the disciples’ unbelief. He includes what happens if people do not believe and signs of belief. He just says to go and preach, not to make disciples.
Luke focuses as well on the disciples’ doubt. He ate in their presence probably to help alleviate some of this. He just mentions preaching and being sent out to the world.
John merely records Jesus interacting with Peter but here we see the commission as well: feed and care for Jesus’ sheep and follow him. Here, we see teach and turn to followers (disciples) of Christ.
My favorite? Matthew’s by far. The focus is on learning about Christ, sharing Christ, and him always being with us–in my opinion, three of the most important things about Jesus. We need to learn about him. We need to share him. And he is there always. We are never alone.