What is the Great Commission?

Hello all! now that we’ve gotten much of our initial ministry re-started, I thought it would be to start our new ministry blog. At One Eight Catalyst, we have a deep heart to mobilize and equip Christians toward Great Commission fulfillment! The first part of that is knowing what is the Great Commission. After much editing, here’s our best quick definition of the Great Commission:

The command of the Great Commission is God’s plan for building His Church through the preaching of the Gospel and the making of disciples to be His effective witnesses in our local area and around the world.

As you can tell right away, this definition is pulled directly right out of Scripture. From our definition, it’s also important to note that the Great Commission is a command. This is important to note because anytime Jesus commands us to do something, we should know what He wants us to do so we can obey.

As we continue to learn what is the Great Commission and how is it that we can obey the command Jesus gives us, let’s look at the 5 verses of the New Testament that make up the basic theological command we call The Great Commission. I’d like to start with a baseline, so that we can always refer back to where the Great Commission comes from.

Let’s go through a quick overview of the 5 passages of the Great Commission, and over the next months, I’ll break down each one, with an overview of their cumulative meaning. Ready, set, go!

Matthew 28:19-20

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.”

Quick Comment: Key verse of the Great Commission. I often note that Jesus asks for disciples, not converts. Also note that we’re to teach these new disciples everything Jesus commands and baptize.

Mark 16:15

And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

Quick Comment: Love this verse because it sure seems like we are all called to preach, regardless if we have the gift of evangelism.

Luke 24:45-49

Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”

Quick Comment:  Probably the least talked about Great Commission command, probably because there is less of a command in this passage and more of an assumption. Jesus is assuming all with stay and proclaim the repentance and forgiveness of sins.

John 20:21

Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”

Quick Comment:  Post resurrection, and just pre-receiving of the Holy Spirit. In the upper room, it’s the first thing Jesus says to the disciples.

Acts 1:8

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”

Quick Comment:  By far my favorite, or maybe tied with the Matthew passage. As my friend Rod Johnson points out, there are a lot of ‘and’ in between locations and no ‘or’. The point? We are called to each of them and not just one of them.

Which of these passages do you like the best?


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