Weekly Missions Message

By August 21, 2017 Missions Message

Go and Make Disciples

“Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” 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 for the forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.” Luke 24:44-47.

Luke, like Matthew, bases the command in divine authority. But whereas the authority in Matthew 28 was Jesus’s authority given to him, here the authority is rooted in the Scriptures. The disciples go forth into the world because Christ has all authority and because the events they will proclaim are the fulfillment of scriptural prophecy and foreshadowing. In both Matthew and Luke, the authority of the disciples comes from God.

Moreover, the command to “go and make disciples” in Matthew is stated here in terms of the disciples’ own role in that task: “You are witnesses of these things” (Luke 24:48). The task set before them by their Lord is to bear witness to Jesus, that is, to proclaim the good news about him. Once again, of course, the disciples do not bear witness by their own power. The Spirit will clothe them with power from on high.

Finally, we see that Jesus makes explicit that this proclamation includes the good news concerning repentance and forgiveness of sin. All this was implied in “baptizing them” in Matthew 28:19, but now it is brought to the forefront.

In summary, the Great Commission in Luke’s Gospel consists in bearing Spirit-empowered witness to the events of Christ’s death and resurrection and calling all nations to repentance for the forgiveness of sins.

DeYoung, Kevin. What Is the Mission of the Church?: Making Sense of Social Justice, Shalom, and the Great Commission (p. 48). Crossway. Kindle Edition.