The Great Commission #2
Jesus came to them and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go and make disciples of all 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 commanded you. Behold, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.Matthew 28:18-20 (WEB)
Having established His authority, the Lord Jesus begins to command His Eleven disciples. Jesus is neither vague, nor unclear. He sets out for them several things they must now go and do to fulfil this Great Commission, and we will examine each in turn in the coming days.
Every journey must begin with the very first step. For the Great Commission, the first step is to simply “Go!”
To go is an action. It is not standing still and letting the world pass you by, but it is to move, and move forwards.
The Eleven would never fulfil this mission if they had set up camp on that mountainside. Had they stayed there, discussing what Jesus had told them or all the things that had happened, then we may never have heard of them again. Had they formed a committee to decide the best course of action, taking a vote on the right direction to travel in or what was the best approach to teaching, then they would have been paralysed on the spot.
There is a place for discussion, planning and committees, don’t get me wrong, but there is also a time for action. I do not advise you to jump into something without prior thought, but neither do I suggest you sit around shooting the breeze.
Go! Says the Lord, move out and together we will change the world.
It does not matter how far you go, as long as you do go. Whether you walk a dozen steps to your neighbour’s house, travel half a mile to the local town square, or cross the globe to a far flung nation, go and take the message of Christ with you.
Using a Bible search engine, the word “Go” appears over 1400 times in the KJV version of the Scriptures, whereas the word “stop” only occurs 7 times! Clearly God wants us to get the message that we are to go, pressing on and doing the work He has called us to.
Philip was told “Go!” and he went to Samaria:
Philip went down to the city of Samaria, and proclaimed to them the Christ. 6 The multitudes listened with one accord to the things that were spoken by Philip when they heard and saw the signs which he did. 7 For unclean spirits came out of many of those who had them. They came out, crying with a loud voice. Many who had been paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 There was great joy in that city.Acts 8:5-8 (WEB)
Paul followed the command to go, and he went to the Gentiles, Peter did likewise, but to the Jewish people:
Then after a period of fourteen years I went up again to Jerusalem with Barnabas, taking Titus also with me. 2 I went up by revelation, and I laid before them the Good News which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately before those who were respected, for fear that I might be running, or had run, in vain.
but to the contrary, when they saw that I had been entrusted with the Good News for the uncircumcised, even as Peter with the Good News for the circumcised— 8 for he who worked through Peter in the apostleship with the circumcised also worked through me with the GentilesGalatians 2:1-2, 7-8 (WEB)
Moses was told to go to Pharoah. Jonah was instructed to go to Nineveh. God told Joshua to go and conquer the land. Elijah told the widow of Zarephath to go, and bring him a cake, and she went, receiving a miracle. Likewise, Elisha told another widow to go and get empty jars that they might be filled with oil, and she, too, went.
Where is God telling you to go?
The point of my post today is not some deep theology, but rather to encourage and inspire you. I am not revealing some great doctrinal truth, but instead am directing you to action. We will never fulfil the Great Commission without it.
For you to go may mean a shift in your attitude, habits or thinking. It may not mean a change in physical location, but a definite decision to alter your mindset and do whatever Christ is calling you to.
When you go, you may need to leave certain “baggage” behind you. Gossiping friends, TV addiction, the comfort of familiarity or just plain old worries may need to be discarded so you can fully go for the Lord.
The word “go” means to move or proceed, as I think I have emphasised above. It can also mean to start or begin, as in to fire the starting gun on the race track.
This exclamation – Go! – is a trigger for us to begin. When that starting gun fires, the runners do not amble along, enjoying the sunshine and having a chat! No, they leap forward with energy and vigour, and that is precisely how we ought to launch into the Great Commission.
I do not want you to proceed without haste; to just quit your job, up sticks and charge ahead without clear direction from God. That is not wise. I do want you to proceed with urgency, energy and excitement however, giving this all you have.
Make a firm decision today that you are going to follow Christ and all He commands with everything you have. Join me, and let’s go!
What will you do?
My questions to you today are:
- What does it mean for you to “go?”
- Is there anything hindering you, or holding you back from going?
- Can you think of anyone else from the Bible who was told to go, and what can you learn from them?