This is the sixth post in my series of Missions Posts. If you haven't read the first 5 you can view them here:
Mathew 28:18-20 is a mandate Christ expects us (His Church) to finish, because he commands us to! He gives us a job and intertwines the promise of His Kingdom coming into full effect when we have finished. He says “Go… teach ALL nations….” And Jesus never gives a task too big for His people to accomplish. We will accomplish it because Christ has authority and gives us authority to accomplish it. This is a mandate for all believers until it is accomplished.
Christ’s kingdom will be present within ALL the peoples when we finish The Great Commission.
Jesus modeled God's heart for all the nations by reaching out to all people and deliberately reaching out to the Gentiles. Since most Jewish people despised the Gentiles, the disciples were certainly confused and even disgruntled at Christ's teaching and care of the Gentiles because this went against their view of what the Messiah was "supposed" to accomplish. They did not see God's bigger picture for "all" the nations.
Christ is the ONLY way, truth, and life. He is literally the incarnation of truth. Through His death on the cross, Christ provides the Way while simultaneously proving any other man-made way is impossible. Christ is life and gives life. We can see this as reaches out to give life to all peoples.
"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" Mathew 28:19
In this verse the phrase used for all nations is, "pante ta ethne." The best way to understand the phrase "all nations" is as ethnicities defined by language and culture, not just Gentiles and Jews, or politically assigned "nations."
The Great Commandment is to Love God and Love your neighbor, and the Great Commission is to evangelize and make God’s kingdom known to all the nations. These are similar in that both are ultimately for God, not for people; while we are supposed to love our neighbor, we do it because we love God and it glorifies Him; while we are supposed to disciple and minister to the people groups, it is not because of their need, it is for God’s glory.
While the Great Commandment is something that must be constantly pursued into eternity, but the Great Commission will have a completion date (when every tribe, tongue, and nation is reached)
We need both because one cannot happen without the other! We can’t evangelize without love and this evangelism isn’t complete unless the peoples are obeying God in loving Him and loving their neighbors.
"And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”" Mathew 28:18-20