What does Matthew 28:19-20 really mean?

19 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,
20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.

People-gathered-in-intense-discussion-as-the-sun-sets-united-in-purpose-and-determination_znfz

Setting the Scene for Matthew 28:19-20

The scene in Matthew chapter 28 takes place after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. The disciples, including Peter, John, James, and the others, are gathered on a mountain in Galilee as Jesus had instructed them. The atmosphere is filled with a mix of awe, anticipation, and a sense of urgency as they await the words of their resurrected Lord.

The disciples had come to this mountain after receiving a message from Mary Magdalene and the other Mary that they had seen Jesus alive. Overwhelmed with joy and disbelief, they made their way to the designated meeting place. As they stood on the mountain, Jesus appeared before them, his presence radiating peace and authority. He then delivered the Great Commission, instructing them to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

Surrounded by the beauty of the Galilean landscape, with the sun setting in the distance, the disciples listened intently to Jesus’ words, knowing that they were being entrusted with a monumental task. The scene captures a pivotal moment in the Christian faith, as Jesus commissions his followers to spread the message of salvation to the ends of the earth.

What is Matthew 28:19-20 about?

Ah, “The Great Commission” – a powerful message that Jesus gave to his disciples before ascending to heaven. This verse, found in the Gospel of Matthew, 28:19-20, is a call to action for all believers. It instructs us to go out into the world and share the good news of Jesus Christ with everyone we encounter, regardless of their background or where they come from.

But why is this task so important? Making disciples of all nations is not just about increasing numbers, but about sharing the transformative love and message of Jesus with others. It is about inviting people to experience the hope, peace, and salvation that comes from knowing Him. We, as followers of Christ, are called to actively participate in spreading His message and bringing others into a deeper relationship with Him.

So, let us embrace the challenge of the Great Commission with boldness and enthusiasm. Let us share the incredible gift of salvation with those around us by stepping out of our comfort zones. We are not only fulfilling a commandment from our Lord, but we are also playing a vital role in expanding His kingdom here on earth by making disciples of all nations.

Understanding what Matthew 28:19-20 really means

Let’s delve into Matthew 28:19-20 and unpack its profound significance together.

Introduction and Context
This passage, often referred to as the Great Commission, is a cornerstone of Christian mission and ministry. Spoken by Jesus after His resurrection and before His ascension, these words serve as a directive to His disciples and, by extension, to all believers. Understanding the context is crucial: Jesus had just conquered death, demonstrating His divine authority and the veracity of His teachings.

Detailed Analysis of Key Phrases
The verse begins with a powerful directive: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations.” This command underscores the universality of the Christian message. The term “all nations” emphasizes that the gospel is not limited by ethnicity, geography, or culture. It calls for an inclusive outreach, echoing God’s promise to Abraham in Genesis 12:3 that all the families of the earth would be blessed through his descendants.

“Baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit” highlights the Trinitarian foundation of Christian faith. Baptism is not merely a ritual but a sacrament that signifies initiation into the Christian community. It represents a public declaration of faith and a commitment to follow Christ. The invocation of the Trinity here reinforces the unity and co-equality of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The phrase “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you” points to the necessity of discipleship and obedience. Christianity is not just about conversion but about transformation. This process involves learning and living out Jesus’ teachings, which include love, forgiveness, and service. It connects to Jesus’ earlier instruction in Matthew 7:24-27 about the wise man who builds his house on the rock by hearing and acting on His words. This passage remains strikingly relevant in our modern world. It challenges believers to look beyond their immediate surroundings and consider the global mission of the Church. Technological advances in an age of globalization offer unprecedented opportunities to share the gospel across the world. However, the call to “make disciples” also reminds us that our mission includes nurturing and growing in faith, not just spreading it. A small church in a rural area decided to take the Great Commission to heart, as seen in a story. They began supporting a missionary couple who worked in a remote part of Africa. Over the years, they saw the impact of their support not just in terms of conversions, but in the establishment of schools, clinics, and community centers. This small congregation found that their outreach transformed lives far beyond their locality and enriched their own faith journey. It illustrates that even seemingly small efforts can have a rippling effect when aligned with Jesus’ mandate.

Conclusion and Reflection
The Great Commission is not a historical artifact but a living command. How can you, in your own life, embody this directive? Whether through local community service, global missions, or simply living out Christ’s teachings in your daily interactions, each action contributes to the broader mission. Jesus’ promise, “I am with you always, to the end of the age,” assures us that we are never alone in this endeavor. Reflect on how you can be part of this grand mission today.

How can we fulfill the Great Commission effectively?

We can fulfill the Great Commission effectively by following the command given in Matthew 28:19-20 to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything that Christ has commanded. This means actively engaging with others to share the message of salvation through Jesus Christ, inviting them to follow Him, and helping them grow in their relationship with God. We are called to not only proclaim the gospel but also to disciple new believers, guiding them in their faith journey and helping them mature spiritually.

One way to effectively fulfill the Great Commission is through personal evangelism and discipleship. This involves building relationships with non-believers, sharing our faith in a loving and respectful manner, and walking alongside new believers as they grow in their understanding of the Bible, prayer, and Christian living. We can contribute to the spread of the gospel and the growth of the Kingdom of God by investing our time and effort in mentoring others and being intentional about making disciples.

Additionally, being obedient to Christ’s command involves a global perspective in our mission efforts. We can participate in missions, support missionaries, and engage in cross-cultural outreach to reach people from different nations and backgrounds with the message of Jesus. We can have a broader impact and contribute to fulfilling the Great Commission of making disciples of all nations by partnering with churches and organizations that have a heart for international missions.

Application

Friends, think of Matthew 28:19-20 as your life’s mission statement. Just like balancing work and family, you are called to balance your faith by sharing Jesus’ love and truth with everyone you meet. Don’t let your faith gather dust—be proactive, be bold, and allow yourself to become a powerful instrument for positive change. Are you ready to embrace this challenge and spread the Gospel through your words and actions?