New International Version (NIV)
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.”
Amplified Bible (AMP)
19Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them
[a]into the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you,
and behold, I am with you [b]all the days ([c]perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion),
to the [very] close and consummation of the age.
[d]Amen (so let it be).
What is “The Great Commission (commandment, instruction)?
It is the instruction and last words Jesus spoke before He ascended to heaven. He commanded that we are to go into “all the world” and:
- Make disciples
- Baptize those who become disciples, and
- teach them to obey everything Jesus has commanded
These words are called “The Great Commission” (commandment, instruction) and were given not only to the 11 disciples who were with Him at the time, but to all believers from then on.
At first glance, this instruction would seem to be straight-forward and easy to follow. But let’s go a little further and analyze these verses so that we have the tools and understanding that we need.
When Jesus instructed His disciples to go and make other disciples of all the nations, He included “Gentiles” as well as Jews.
Notice Jesus instructs them to baptize other disciples into the name (singular tense) of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. We can see clearly that the concept of the “trinity” comes directly from Jesus Himself. However, the word trinity well describes the three-in-one nature of the Father, Son, and the Holy Spirit. In researching the word trinity, no results were found in the following version(s) of the Bible: Amplified Bible, New International Version, American Standard Version, King James Version or New American Standard Bible. This one verse emphasizes both the unity and plurality of God (Greek singular). Many passages show that the work of one involves the work of one or both of the other two Persons. There is no hierarchy of persons here. We must be careful that we do not lose either the unity or the diversity in the nature of God. (Part of this exegesis was derived from The New International Version and The New Living Version of the Bible.)
Why is baptism important?
Baptism unites a believer with Jesus Christ in His death, burial, and resurrection as a symbol of death to sin and resurrection to new life. Baptism shows submission to Christ and a willingness to live God’s way.
How is Jesus present with us?
- He was present physically from His birth until He ascended into heaven.
- He is present spiritually with us through the Holy Spirit.
Practical Applications and Understanding our Task
regarding “The Great Commission”
- The Great Commission is not an option, but a command given to us by Jesus, so we should obey.
- If we don’t obey, then we have failed, or omitted to follow His instruction.
- We don’t have to be preachers, or evangelists to teach.
- We all have gifts given to us by God that can be used by Him to enable us to fulfill these commandments.
- give words of encouragement,
- or do a service for someone in need like giving them a ride, cleaning their house, mowing their lawn, etc.
The most important part of “The Great Commission” comes from loving God with all our heart, soul, strength, and mind and our neighbors as ourselves.
For further study, go to http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%2028:19-20&version=AMP#en-AMP-24215
- Matthew 28:19 Marvin Vincent, Word Studies.
- Matthew 28:20 John Wycliffe, The Wycliffe Bible.
- Matthew 28:20 Webster’s New International Dictionary offers this phrase as a definition of “always.”
I hope you have enjoyed this Bible Study. Hopefully, it will be only the first of others that I do. Writing doesn’t come easy to me, but I felt led to write anyway.
Please feel free to comment or ask questions. We’ll work through any answers together.