Wednesday 15 June 2022

Bible Book:

'Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.' (v. 19)

Matthew 28:16-20 Wednesday 15 June 2022

Psalm 144


These are the last words in Matthew’s Gospel and are known as The Great Commission. It is the moment when the resurrected Christ empowers his disciples to be scattered among the nations with the three-fold task of making disciples, baptising and teaching. The word ‘go’ is hugely significant. Jesus commands that the disciples are not to be content with staying still and among the familiar. Instead they are to be proactive, taking the gospel beyond Judaism to all nations. The word, ‘go’ or 'send out' in Latin is missio, from which we get 'mission'.

This passage is one that helped inspire the Christian Church to see its ongoing calling as a missionary movement. Under the leadership of John and Charles Wesley passages such as Matthew 28:19 encouraged Methodists to make disciples, baptise and teach among the poorest of England’s people. Rather than waiting for people to come to them, they experimented with going to where the people were. They preached in the open air, on horseback, and famously on the family grave at Epworth. When criticised for preaching outside churches, Wesley replied: “The world is my parish.” With new hymns to sing, passionate preaching and Wesley’s organisational skills, a renewal movement was born!

Two promises in this passage must have given confidence to the 11 humble Galileans as they began the huge task of sharing the good news of Jesus. Firstly, in verse 18, Jesus assured them of his power, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me." The disciples were to undertake this mission with the power and authority of one who had died and yet conquered death. Second, in verse 20 there is the promise of Jesus' continuing presence, "And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age."


To Ponder:

  • How much priority does your church give to making disciples, baptising and teaching?
  • The Methodist Prayer Handbook is a fantastic reminder that we belong to a family of all nations. Every member of the St Helier Methodist Church in Jersey is given a copy in September, as we find it a great way of thinking beyond the island. Do you know about it?
  •  Is there something that God is calling you to do today – and will you do it?
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