"Go!"

by Kenneth R. Jenkins
(Savannah, GA)

Matthew 28:16-20 King James Version (KJV)

16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 28:16-20 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)
Jesus Gives Instructions to the Disciples
16 The eleven disciples went to the mountain in Galilee where Jesus had told them to go.17 When they saw him, they bowed down in worship, though some had doubts.
18 When Jesus came near, he spoke to them. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19 So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. 20 Teach them to do everything I have commanded you.
“And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.”


INTRODUCTION

The work of the Church is the work of missions. This is the work that is required of all who are part of the Christian faith. This was and still is the the Last Commission, the last command of Jesus while he was here on earth. And so, by the help of the Holy Spirit, this is the challenge in this message to “Go!”

I.

It was after the Sabbath at dawn on the first day of the week when Mary Magdalene and some others that were with her saw the empty tomb and when there was an earthquake and she met an angel. It was in this chain of events leading up to the time Jesus gave His Disciples; His new appointed Apostles. And these were very important instructions that must follow to the letter.

II. JESUS' INSTRUCTIONS

There were 3 things Jesus wanted us to do in order to make Disciples as He instructed

a) Make Disciples of all nations.

Equip your disciple for ministry
(Mat 9:37-10:1 NIV) Then he said to his disciples, "The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. {38} Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into his harvest field." 10:1 He called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and to heal every disease and sickness.

Jesus' disciples did not just sit around basking in the word of God. Jesus equipped them and sent them out to do His Father's work as well.

How can you equip your disciple for God's ministry? Perhaps you can equip him in the word. Or you could do the ministry with him so that he can learn from you.

(Mat 9:18-19 NIV) While he was saying this, a ruler came and knelt before him and said, "My daughter has just died. But come and put your hand on her, and she will live." {19} Jesus got up and went with him, and so did his disciples.

Jesus equipped His disciples by making them go with Him in ministry. When He went about healing and ministering, they went with Him. It is one thing to teach your disciple about ministry and another to bring them with you when you actually do it.

b) BAPTIZE THEM

Baptism is a requirement for church membership . The reason for this is that the New Testament makes baptism a normative part of becoming a Christian. Jesus said, "Make disciples, baptizing them." Which should probably be paraphrased like this: "I intend for a normative part of becoming a disciple to be getting baptized." And this is just what the early church did. In Acts 2:41 it says that after Peter's first Pentecost sermon, "Those who received his word were baptized."

And 25 years later, when Paul wrote to the church in Rome where he had never been before, he assumed that all the Christians were baptized. He said in Romans 6:1–3, "Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death?"

In other words, Paul assumes without any question or explanation that all the believers in Rome know what baptism is and have been baptized, and he appeals to the meaning of that baptism as the basis of his ethical instruction to all Christians. So Jesus made baptism a normative part of becoming a Christian in Matthew 28:19, and the apostles carried this out. That's why baptism is a requirement for church membership.

c) TEACH THEM

Teach all nations - The word rendered "teach," here, is not the one that is usually so translated in the New Testament. This word properly means "to disciple, or to make disciples of." This was to be done, however, by teaching, and by administering baptism.

All nations - This gracious commission was the foundation of their authority to go to the Gentiles. The Jews had expected that the offers of life under the Messiah would be confined to their own nation. Jesus broke down the partition wall, and commissioned his disciples to go everywhere, and bring the "world" to the knowledge of himself.

‘Teach them to obey everything that I have told you’, Jesus said. The *disciples needed to teach new Christians how to behave as believers. They had to think about new things.

*Jews may have learned from the *Old Testament. But they needed to understand completely what the *Law meant.

*Gentiles used to behave badly. So they had to learn how to behave in a different way. Matthew wrote in five sections what Jesus had taught.

And new *disciples would be able to learn from this. Many of them came from places where nobody knew the truth about God. Later Paul wrote his letters because it was necessary to teach these people.

These Eleven Disciples were given all authority in heaven and on earth by Jesus. In other words, Jesus was passing the torch to them to go forward and continue what Jesus was doing during His ministry.

CONCLUSION:

The whole purpose of all this is to reach others no matter where they are in the world. Missionary work is not limited to remote countries on the globe but right in our neighborhoods beyond the four walls of the churches; outside the churches and without the walls.

Everyone's a missionary from the youngest to the oldest. Everyone can serve, be it great or be it small. There is always room for service in God's house. AMEN.

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