When my son left for bootcamp, it was one of the proudest and scariest moments in my life. I was incredibly proud of him for having the courage to go. I was scared to death that the little boy I knew was headed out to become a man. For the first time in his life, I would not be there to protect him, to encourage him, or to give him direction.
The days and especially the night before he left, I felt a heavy sense of urgency to make sure he was prepared. I knew my relationship with him would be forever changed and that I had only a few more moments to make sure he was ready to go into the world as a man.
The night before he left, I felt like I still needed to provide him with last minute advice. My mind was racing to recall anything I still had not told him. What else does he need to know to be a man; what pieces have I missed; what gaps are there that I didn’t fill; what do I still need to remind him of? These last pieces of information seemed so critical. I would not talk to him for the next 7 weeks. This information had to be good, important, life changing advice!
As a father, I have to think Jesus felt the same way before his ascension to heaven. He had spent years with his disciples and now he was leaving them. Leaving them to go be who he had trained them to be, similar to what I had to do with my son. In this case, however, the salvation of the world depended on it.
So what did Jesus say in these last critical moments?
Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
First, he reminds them who he is: “All power in heaven and earth has been given to me.” So he doesn’t want them focusing on their ability but HIS ability. Then he tells them to go make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey everything he taught them. Finally, he reminded them that he would always be with them.
It makes a lot of sense to me that the last words of Jesus to the disciples he loved were important; they were critical; they were intentional and well thought out. So if this Great Commission is important for these disciples, then it should be important to us as well.
Will you take this command from Jesus seriously and GO make disciples?
In our next blog, we will talk about practical ways that you can fulfill the Great Commission in your life right now. We want to help equip you to take this command seriously and to provide you some practical tools to get started.