The Great Commission or the Great Omission? (Matt 28:16-20). It is said that: “only as the church fulfills the Great Commission can it justify her existence in the world.” Have you ever looked at this passage carefully?

What does it really say? What is the real “command” in the Great Commission?  Why don’t you grab your Bible, a piece of paper or notebook and let us chat about this? Not time to pull out the commentaries and other tools yet. How do these verses “grab” you? – You want to Read, Reflect, Record, Respond, before you conduct further Research, Reorganize and Relay what the Scripture teaches. We need to respond to what we learn through-out the process.  Application is better done at the time of illumination and encounter.

The first thing about these verses is that in v. 11, we see that whenever Jesus tells us to do something, we must do it.  And when we do, we will find it exactly as He said it will be. Jesus told these men to “go to the Galilee” (v. 7, cf. 26:32). Jesus apparently told them to go to a specific location. We may not know exactly where it was, but they knew. They obeyed. They found it just as it was told them.  He met with them just as He promised. The only appropriate response to such an encounter is “worship“. How is it that these men, who were monotheistic Jews, worshipped Jesus as their Resurrected Lord, when their religion expressly forbad them from worship any other god (Ex 20:2-6)? How is it that we often look at the same things, and some of are still remain “doubtful”?

In v. 18, Jesus came and he said “all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me . . .” What are some of the facets of the authority that has been given to Jesus?

In v. 19, the “therefore” connects the “authority” in v. 18 with the commission. Sometimes we say that the Great Commission is to “go”. That is only a part of it.  The primary command in this verse is to “make disciples.” There are three participles in these verses, which indicate what is involved in making disciples: going, baptizing and teaching. (Grammar Point: Participles get their direction and force from the main Verb)

Let me leave some room for discovery and discussion, but first let me “prime the pump”. The diligence of digging and the delight of discovery are twins! Notice that in this verse the word “all” is used four (4) times:

  1. All authority (v. 18)
  2. All nations (v. 19)
  3. All that “I have commanded you” (v. 20a)
  4. Always, “I will be with you” (v. 20b)

How would you explain the above? What are the implications? How are they connected to each other? How does this inspire you to be involved.  The promised are only for those who obey His commands.

Another thing: Notice that the Trinity is implicitly mentioned in this passage. The three Persons are mentioned, but the word “name” is singular.  Is this just “poor grammar” or is there a deeper meaning? The word “Trinity” is not mentioned in the Bible, but we cannot read the Bible carefully and deny that it is clearly taught. (Cross Referencing: What are some other passages that teach the doctrine of the Trinity?)

What else do these verses tells us? How might we use these verses in a prayer? Sharing, Teaching and Preaching? What are the Teaching /Preaching Points?

Can we ignore this passage and still claim loyalty to Jesus? Can we claim He is our Lord and ignore what He asks us to do in this passage? What are you doing to fulfill the Great Commission?  What are you doing to hasten the return of the King?

Here is an Inductive Bible Study Diagram of the passage to “meditate in colours.”

For further study, look at the other Great Commission Passages (Lu 24:44-49; Acts 1:8; Jn 20:19-23; Mk 16:15-20). Conduct a similar study as you did above.  When you have completed your analysis and summarized your findings of each passage, you would want to synthesize what you learnt from all these passages. Too often we have Topical Studies before Inductive Bible Studies. This is selling ourselves short. We prejudice the Text and are often inadvertently involved in fragmentary and misleading proof-texting.  Biblical Theology should always come before Systematic Theology. Having said that, now that you having done Inductive Bible Studies on the Great Commission passages, see if you can organize what you learnt around the  following headings:

  1. What is our Mandate
  2. What is our Mission?
  3. What is our Message?
  4. What are our Means?
  5. What should be our Motives?
  6. What should be our Method?
  7. What are the Measurements?

Let me know how you made out and if I may be of further assistance.  The goal of our reading, meditation, studies, etc., is transformation, not so much information.  We all know more of the Bible than we apply.  How do we get the Word to the place where it really matters? It has to travel from our heads to our hearts and then out through our hands, feet, mouths, etc.

Note: Use your Bible instead of the hyperlinks and get ahead on your “meditating in colours”. We need to learn to use our Bibles and other Tools. More on this as we go along. . .  In the meanwhile, may you become a Man / Woman of His Word and may you in turn, become “A Person of Your Word!”