Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Great Commission - putting the emphasis where it ought to be

In Matthew 28:16-20 we have what is commonly called the Great Commission. Some Preachers have spoken of it sometimes as the Great Ommission since it is often neglected by many Christians.

Of course we don't do that do we? Yet before we can answer that question we need to make sure we have understood it correctly. Where is the emphasis in "Therefore Go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you."

There's a really poor translation around, which isn't really a translation at all but a paraphrase, sadly used by preachers in their teaching and writing of books. It says "Then instruct them in the practice of all I have commanded you." MSG. But this scuttles the impact of the Great Commission.

It's not about merely having head knowledge, having a few instructions about practices Jesus wants us to do but in putting this truth into practice in our very lives.

The central focus is the three verbs, making disciples, baptising and teaching. not in the "go".

What "Going" tells us is that it's to be taken in the sense of "as you are living your lives", not as in the sense of many missionary preachers who use this passage to call people to become missionaries and go overseas to some other culture. As you live your life, going to the supermarket, meeting the neighbor over the fence, getting petrol at the Petrol Station, going to playgroup, at work, having lunch ..

This is like witnessing, as a Christian you are a signpost - the only question is whether you are a good signpost or a bad one. Perhaps the signpost is chipped, it's writing isn't clear, it doesn't clearly tell people the directions, or perhaps it points the wrong way? A Christian by their very lives is a signpost, a witness. And so it is with the Great Commission. As we go about our lives, which have been impacted by Jesus, we are to make disciples, baptise and teach them to obey.

How I need to rely more on God's grace and power through His Spirit as I live my life.

In Christ,

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