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The Great Commission

John Baugh
September, 2005


The Great Commission contains Christ’s “marching orders” to those who call themselves his disciples. In the Great Commission, Jesus commands his followers (disciples) to go and “make disciples”. The Great Commission statements of Christ are especially significant:

·         They were the last words that Jesus shared with the disciples.

·         They are firm statements of what (and how) the disciples were to continue.

·         If Jesus had a plan for the spread of the gospel after his departure (and he did!), his plan is contained in these instructions.

This important charge is recorded in five different places and in five distinct formats in the New Testament.

1 - Matthew 28:18-20 is the most definitive statement of what Jesus expects of those who follow him.

Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Matthew 28: 18-20 NIV

2 - Mark 16:15-16 contains the most concise wording of what Jesus expects from us.

He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned”..
Mark 16: 15-16 NIV

3 - Luke 24:47 provides the most direct statement of expectation.

“and repentance and forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem”.

Luke 24:47 NIV

4 - John 20:21 shares Jesus’ expectations in the simplest way.

Again Jesus said, "Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me,
I am sending you."
John 20:21 NIV

5 - Acts 1:8 invokes the most expansive listing of the commission.

“But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you;
and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem,
and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."

Acts:1:8 NIV



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