By Cheryl Mah
We live in a world filled with plenty of needy people looking for answers, and Jesus is the answer to everything mankind needs. He offers love, joy, peace, rest, protection, guidance, wisdom, mercy, forgiveness and most of all, everlasting life (which is to know God; John 17:3). However, these lost sheep will never know who the Good Shepherd is unless someone tells them about Him. Thus, those of us who have received salvation each have a duty to help spread the Good News of Jesus to one and all.
Outlined in Matthew 28:16–20, The Great Commission is a mandate given by Jesus to take on His ministry on earth. Jesus gave this command after His resurrection and not long before His ascension. We are to make disciples, baptise them, and teach them to obey the Lord – and these steps have been very clearly laid out for us.
The Gospel (literally, Good News) we are to declare comes in three interwoven strands:
1. Gospel of Salvation (Mark 16:15)
Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have been granted the gift of salvation from God so that we may be delivered, preserved, and healed. Jesus made it possible for us to pass from death into life if we accept His provision (John 5:24). As Christians we have been commanded to proclaim the Gospel to all around us and bring them to Jesus so that they may also receive the gift of salvation.
2. Gospel of Transformation (Matthew 28:18-20)
When we accept the Good News of the Gospel, we must allow this to effect real change in our lives. God works through the Gospel to transform our hearts and minds. The inward transformation of our minds being filled with love and gratitude to Christ should trigger an outward transformation of obedience to God (Romans 12:1-2). In fact, the Gospel must overflow from all our hearts and lives until God’s presence transforms our entire community. When the entire human existence is so wholly transformed by Christ, it becomes innate in every person to obey all that He has commanded.
This is when Scripture is fulfilled: whereby the kingdom of this world becomes the kingdom of God (Revelation 11:15).
3. Gospel of Service (Matthew 25:37-40)
God’s saving intervention in our lives should result in His people’s zealousness to do what is good. When God calls us to serve, He has already shown a great example of His service by sending Jesus Christ who came to serve and not to be served (Mark 10:45). He beckons His followers to show the same unconditional love, mercy, grace, and humble service to those around us. As such we must always radiate the love of Jesus by the way we think, speak and act. When our faith shines to those around us, others will be attracted by our transformation of His glorious likeness (2 Corinthians 3:18).
While the work seems daunting and like an impossible undertaking, the burden does not fall entirely on just one person or a group of people. We as a church must collectively take part in Christ’s redemptive mission, and this can only work if all the parts of His Body (1 Corinthians 12:27) each individually strives to do their part (Ephesians 4:16) in bringing Christ to all who do not yet know Him.
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.”
- Do you view the Great Commission as a joy or a burden – and why?
- What is the motivation and attitude that we should have as Christians when living out this command by Jesus?
- How do you plan to contribute to the work of the church in fulfilling the Great Commission?