What Does it Say?
Matthew 28:19–20 (ESV) “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.”
What Does it Mean?
Matthew 28:19–20 is referred to as The Great Commission. In this passage, Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples…” In other words, the great commission is all about discipleship. However, many people assume the great commission is all about—and only about—evangelism. Though evangelism is included, the desired result of the great commission is not simply to make converts or “believers” but to go the extra mile and make disciples.
Jesus gave instructions on how to make disciples. First, “…baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit…” No doubt, this is about evangelism! The purpose is salvation. Jesus continued. He said, “…teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” In other words, Jesus gave additional instructions to continue working with these newly saved believers by teaching them to abide in the Word of God and become disciples. This is the great commission!
What Does it Mean to Us?
There are two applications for us today. First, we must be—or become—disciples ourselves. To be a disciple, we must abide in God’s Word (John 8:31). Therefore, it is essential to read the Bible and hear the Word of God on a regular basis. We must meditate on it and be a doer of the Word! By doing so, Jesus said we are truly His disciples. Second, we must become disciple-makers. It begins with evangelism and continues with discipleship. We must preach the gospel and help others receive salvation. But more work is yet to be done. We must teach them to abide in the Word. We must make disciples.
First, let’s commit to being a disciple by abiding in the Word of God in a fresh new way. Second, let’s commit to being a disciple-maker by engaging in both evangelism and discipleship. By doing these things, we will fulfill the great commission.