Everyone is fair game when making disciples.
-what is a disciple? Apprentice is the idea. Someone who would follow, live with, and learn from a mentor.
- Because we get our orders from Jesus, the Highest Authority (18)
-Jesus has been given all authority in Heaven and upon earth.
-Matthew argues that Jesus is morally qualified to be the Messiah by showing how He stood up to Satan’s temptations—Satan offered to give Jesus the kingdoms of the world if He would worship Him. Jesus received more than Satan offered.
-there is no anarchy in Heaven
-Scripture doesn’t share a lot of detail about what’s going on in Heaven right now—but we do know from sneak peaks that there is worship and the FULL recognition of Jesus’ authority and power
-Jesus has the same authority over Earth—
Ill. In Daniel 2, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had a dream that confused him…He saw this huge statue
-head of gold
-chest and arms of silver
-torso of bronze
-legs of iron
-feet of iron mixed with clay
-the statue represented different world powers…Babylon, Persia, Greeks, Rome
-then Neb. saw a stone seemingly come from nowhere and totally pulverize the statue like it had never existed—the stone represents the coming Kingdom reign of Christ
-Jesus already holds a Kingly authority over the spiritual realm and material universe –a visible political reign is coming soon—we already have the command to proclaim the gospel message in His name
John Phillips: The unbelieving may challenge our right to take the gospel to other lands, but we have every right. We have a mandate that transcends that of any human political, religious, or economic power. We are commissioned to go, and go we must, for Satan holds the nations in darkness.
- Because Jesus is not exclusive to our culture (19-20a)
-the central command is to make disciples, but Jesus told us the way to do that (going, baptizing, and teaching)
-we make disciples of all nations (ethnos)—people groups—2,000 years ago you had the Roman empire and peculiar cultures within the one dominant world power
-the Great Commission isn’t as much about Christianizing nations with flags and lines as it is about overcoming our own prejudices to proclaim the gospel to different people groups, ethnicities, and cultures
-in making disciples, we don’t just teach facts but obedience
- Baptizing —marks the conversion; doesn’t make the conversion
A disciple, then, is one who has believed on Jesus Christ and expressed this faith by being baptized. He remains in the fellowship of the believers that he might be taught the truths of the faith (Acts 2:41–47). He is then able to go out and win others and teach them. This was the pattern of the New Testament church (2 Tim. 2:1–2).
In many respects, we have departed from this pattern. In most churches, the congregation pays the pastor to preach, win the lost, and build up the saved—while the church members function as cheerleaders (if they are enthusiastic) or spectators. The “converts” are won, baptized, and given the right hand of fellowship, then they join the other spectators.
- Because Jesus is with believers through the entirety of the church age (20b)
-the Gospel of Matthew begins with saying the Savior’s name would be Immanuel (God with us)
-we always note the context of a passage—for instance not every promise in the O.T. is made to us, but may be directed to a specific person, people, or Israel
-some have claimed that the Great Commission was only given to Jesus’s eleven disciples here
-that is not the case because Jesus mentions the entire church age
-so the Great Commission is a command to all believers
-we’re all called to be evangelists
-and in this endeavor, we’re all promised the presence of Jesus Himself
-“always”—“all the days”
-This is an enormous project—our obedience/disobedience has eternal ramifications
-of course there are human challenges: criticism, opposition, circumstances, health
-there are spiritual challenges too: Satan is organized and experienced at attacking, lying, slandering, and distracting
-The greatest of truths is that Jesus loves sinners—another truth that is just and weighty and filled with hope is this: “Behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the age.”
-your circumstances in life (family, friends, neighborhood, work place) are not results of random chance—they are headquarters to which you have been stationed to proclaim the saving name and message of Jesus
Hope Valley Church, READY. SET. GO.
 John Phillips, Exploring the Gospel of Matthew: An Expository Commentary, The John Phillips Commentary Series (Kregel Publications; WORDsearch, 2014), Mt 28:19–20a.