Jesus’ earthly mission is complete. He has come, humbled Himself by taking on human flesh, served as a role model for us, died for our sins, and risen to win victory over sin and evil. All glory, triumph, and honor belong solely to Him.
This is what we all prepare to celebrate tomorrow on Easter Sunday! And every Easter, we reflect on what the Resurrection means for us. This is crucial to keep in the forefront of our minds as Christians, but there’s more to the story that we usually reflect on, a part of the story that is also very crucial. That is the Great Commission.
What is the Great Commission? Specifically, it’s the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:18-20. He says,
“All power in heaven and 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, until the end of the age.”
All power in heaven and earth has been given to me. That’s a pretty authoritative statement, if you ask me. In fact, the only being able to make this claim is God. Therefore, it’s essentially the same as I am the Lord, your God. Sound familiar? Like the first commandment, the Great Commission is also very much a commandment. So let’s pay attention to what follows!
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them…[and] teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. This is a big task. Baptizing and teaching all nations? That is a lot of evangelizing!! How does one go about this? The best thing to do is look to the perfect role model: Christ.
Jesus’ method of evangelization was a small-scale operation. Yes, He had massive crowds following Him, and He taught and healed them. But from among those disciples, Jesus had only twelve Apostles, who had the privilege of being more deeply invested in by Him. And within the Apostles, there were three that Jesus invested in the most: Peter, James, and John. They saw him in his fully glory during the Transfiguration, and in his greatest agony in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus poured Himself into the three of them in a special way, and this was the key to His evangelization. If these three imitated Him by each taking three others, baptizing and teaching them what Jesus commanded, and those nine did the same, and then those twenty-seven…that’s world-changing. After twenty-one generations, there are over ten billion members of the chain. That’s more than the current population of the world. If this were fully put into effect, then we actually could make disciples of all nations.
I challenge you to take this model, given by Christ, and live it out in the Easter season. Carve time out of the daily grind of problem sets and papers to invest in a few other friends who are potentially open to making Christ the center of their lives. Develop a deeper friendship with them and make yourself vulnerable to them as Christ did with Peter, James, and John at Gethsemane. Don’t be afraid to talk about faith with them; invite them into discipleship with the Lord. Walk with them day by day to grow closer to Christ. Only then, in imitation of Christ, will we have fulfilled our own mission: the Great Commission.
Kevin Kearns ‘20 is a sophomore in Eliot House.