Written by: Lucas B
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
From God Himself
The Great Commission is preceded by one of Jesus’ most declarative and forthright statements: “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” He begins with this short yet emphatic summary of his credentials before entrusting his disciples with the mission of spreading the message of the gospel throughout the world.
In case any doubt lingered in the disciples’ minds about whether they should listen to the recently resurrected Christ, Jesus reminded them that he has complete control and total authority overeverything. Literally. Imagine if your prof followed a similar pattern before giving you an assignment.“Just a reminder that I have authority over your final grade and decide whether or not you pass this course…” I’m guessing if you heard a statement like this you would be pretty attentive to the instructions that followed. Whatever they may be, you wouldn’t think twice about their importance. The assignment matters because it comes from a place of authority and a position of power. In the case of the Great Commission, the authority is Divine.
The Great Commission matters because it comes from God Himself.
The Authority for an Assignment of Love
God chose to use “all authority in heaven and on earth” to set something truly incredible in motion. Following Christ’s declaration of his own sovereignty is not a demand to grovel at his feet or to submit to a pattern of religiosity in an effort to earn his favour. Rather, Jesus invites his followers to take part in the mission to see people of “all nations” discover the forgiveness, hope, and love found in Him. His invitation demonstrates God’s priority that people experience the joy of knowing Him through an intimate relationship.
The Great Commission matters because it reflects God’s radical love for all people everywhere; a love that longs to make itself known.
Filled with Passion for the Great Commission
Attending P2C+ had a huge influence on my understanding of the Great Commission. It was there that I learned of the need for the gospel throughout the world, including in places I wouldn’t have guessed. I met students from England and Scotland who shared with me the desperate need for the gospel in the United Kingdom. Hearing their own burden to see the people of Britain come to know and follow Jesus led me to sign up for a short-term mission trip in the UK. Having conversations about Jesus with British students allowed me to experience the reality of God’s love for people in a deeper way. I was so moved by my experience and so filled with a passion for the Great Commission that I returned to the UK in my third and fourth year.
The Great Commission matters because people need Jesus today as much as they did two thousand years ago.
What will be your response?