The Final Words of Christ
If you knew you were about to be separated from someone you love for an extended period of time, you would cherish your final moments together. No time should be wasted. The final words you share with each other are important. Jesus’s final words with his disciples were also important. This week’s verse highlights the final statement Jesus gave to his Disciples. It defines the mission of his Church. The focus of His statement was specific. Jesus gave one command and elaborated on this command. Below we make 5 key points about Jesus’s final Statement.
Jesus final statement is found in Matthew 28:19-20. Jesus said, “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.”
The Command of this passage is directed to Disciples to “Make Disciples”- Matthew 28:19-20 has only one command and everything stated within this verse is intended to support this command. This is the purpose for God’s Church. God desires for us to make followers of Him which necessitates that we must be followers of him. The rest of the passage emphasizes important points about the command to make disciples.
The Scope of discipleship is the World. “Go into all the world”– God’s desire is for us to be active in making disciples in every area of the world. This word “go” means “As you are going.” The idea is that as you are going through your day, seek to be a part of making disciples throughout the world. It is impossible to make an impact for Christ everywhere, but it is important that you strive to make an impact for Christ somewhere.
The Authority of Discipleship is the Triune God– “Baptizing in the Name of the Father Son and Holy Spirit”– Baptism is an outward profession of faith and commitment to follow. In this verse, Baptism is conducted in the name of the Trinity. The idea of Baptizing in a name identifies the authority a disciple is following. For example in Christianity we commonly end a prayer in “Jesus Name”. Praying in Jesus name means we are acknowledging that our prayers rest on Christ’s authority. In addition, this passage says we baptize in the name (singular) and not in the NameS (plural). What makes this point unique is that the verse goes on to list three names (plural). Why does this passage say in the “name of the Father, Son and Spirit” and not in the “NameS of the Father, Son and Spirit”? The reason is because this passage is directing us to a Triune God. One God in three persons. (The Bible Does the same thing in Genesis 1:26,27 in reference to the Godhead. Verse 26 plural, verse 27 Singular). Notice baptism is done honoring all three persons as equal in authority within the Godhead.
The Goal of discipleship is duplicating Jesus. “Teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you”– It is important to teach God’s truth to a disciple. However, intellectual knowledge isn’t the end Goal. There are many people who are intelligent in regard to Biblical knowledge. Unfortunately, their lives do not observe it. We should not value the academics of Christianity over and above obedience. The goal of discipleship is to understand and observe truth by reflecting Jesus in daily living. When a disciple makes a disciple, the process should continue from person to person and generation to generation throughout the world. God desires for all of us to experience a transformational relationship with him that begins the Moment we embrace Christ’s sacrifice on our behalf.
The Promise to the disciples is powerful. “I am with you always”– No follower of Jesus should feel prepared for their journey with God. God uses us in our weaknesses, and He uses us in our failures. He alone is the one who makes us worthy and gives us strength. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus was talking to disciples that had recently abandoned him. At Jesus’ death, the disciples scattered and hid. Yet, it is Jesus who reminds his people, He would never leave them. He is always with them, even when they abandon Him. Even when they feel unworthy and unable, Jesus is with them ALWAYS. The command to make disciples is important, and this promise that he never leaves you is important. God will not give up on you. He will be with you as you journey through this world with Him seeking to make disciples.
One Final Thought: In the past I have heard people debate as to whether this passage is intended to be for all Christians or just for Jesus’ 11 Disciples. I think it is always worthy to stop and ask questions about scripture. However, to clear up any debate over these verses, it is important to know…. THIS COMMAND IS FOR EVERY CHRISTIAN! When you read the rest of the New Testament it validates the command of this verse. In reference to other Christians, Paul said “how beautiful are the feet of those who share the gospel” (Rm 10:15). The Godly man described in 1 Timothy 3, is someone who encourages his family in the Lord. In Ephesians 5:21-33, a godly marriage is one that demonstrates Jesus to each other. Jesus said he was building His church to overcome the gates of Hell (Matthew 16:18). In addition Paul says in Ephesians 4:11 that God gave Evangelists to train God’s people to do the work of the ministry. This means Evangelists equip Christians to do evangelism. Therefore evangelism is for everyone. This same passage also says God gave pastors and teachers to train people to do the work of the ministry. This means people are trained to make disciples. You may not make 100 disciples in your life. You may even be one of a hundred people God uses to disciple a single Christian. Yet, God calls you to make disciples. It might be your children, your spouse, or a friend. You may even be one of many people that helps disciple one person. You may even feel like you don’t have a leading role in discipleship. Don’t under estimate the place God has you and the influence you have over the lives of others. As you are going through your daily life, make disciples. God is always with you.