“Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16–20 NRSV)
The Great Commission
This text is known to many who grew up in the church as the “Great Commission.” So let’s think for a moment about what a commission is in this context?
- an instruction, command, or duty given to a person or group of people
- a group of people officially charged with a particular function
Maybe that’s what Jesus is up to here, give a command and laying out the duty of every single person who wishes to be his disciple.
But unlike Matthew 22:34-40, where Jesus argues that Love of God and Neighbor are the most important and essential commandments, he doesn’t use the word “commission” anywhere in this passage.