18 Then Jesus came to them and said,“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore 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 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus commissioned all those who would be his disciples. Anyone who would surrender their life to Jesus was given the task of making further disciples by going out into the world and teaching others about Christ. With all authority in heaven and earth, Jesus empowered his followers to take the word of God out to the very ends of the earth. He empowered his followers then and he empowers his followers today.
But when is the last time we took the word of God and made disciples at the end of our street? Not to mention the ends of the earth!
Sadly, Jesus’ great commission for our lives has been tossed aside and stored away with the rest of the “hard to accept” scriptures we read in the bible (Such as turn the other cheek, and sell all you have and give to the poor.)
We alter the great commission to suit our own comforts, to make it easier for us to ignore. As David Platt states in his book Radical,
“But where in the Bible is missions ever identified as an optional program in the church? We have just seen that we were all created by God, saved from our sins, and blessed by God to make his glory known in all the world. Indeed, Jesus himself has not merely called us to go to all nations; he has created us and commanded us to go to all nations. We have taken this command, though, and reduced it to a calling — something that only a few people receive. pg. 72-73″
David Platt asks a great question! Where in the Bible does it say that missions are for some Christians and not all Christians?? The answer is simple, it doesn’t. Can anyone provide a reasonable explanation as for why we are not all striving to make disciples in all parts of the world??
David Platt points out a frequent excuse Christians use.
“Maybe the most common response that arises among Christians regarding the global purpose of God is “What about the needs here? Why do we need to be involved in other nations when there are so many needs in our nation?” pg. 75″
We are so quick to find any reason or excuse not to have to leave our comfort zone. I have a quick news flash however… are you prepared for this? … GOD DOES NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR COMFORT ZONE!! *gasp!*
Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth and he promised to empower and equip us for whatever task we are sent out to do. When Jesus commands us out into the world to make disciples we can rest assured that we are not going alone. God fills us with his holy spirit and fully equips us for the job, all we have to do is respond with obedience.
There is an additional aspect to the commission that we fail to remember. Jesus is the master and in the end he will be calling us, his servants, into account for how we lived. Will you be the good and faithful servant who went out into all the earth making disciples, investing the word of God into others so as to see a return? Or will you be the lazy and wicked servant who buries the word of God, hiding it, and then makes excuses about how the great commission was not “your calling”? *spoiler alert* the wicked and lazy servant was stripped of the little he did have and was cast out into darkness.
I am committed to casting off the chains of comfort and laziness and living a radical and transforming life. I want to glorify God by being obedient to his commands and commissions. I am willing to go wherever God plans to send me, without limiting it to my own city or my own nation. I pray that others will join me in laying down their own will for the will of God; sacrificing their own lives for the glory of God.