To the Ends of the Earth: a Friendly Reminder About the Great Commission
Can you remember a time when your parents went away and left you at home? You might have been old enough to stay by yourself, or maybe you stayed with a relative or a neighbor. Before your parents left, there was always “the talk” about what was expected of you while they were gone. You heard phrases like, “don’t be late for school…shower and brush your teeth…obey those in authority over you…and NO PARTIES AT OUR HOUSE!”
At the end of the Books of Matthew, Mark, and Luke, Jesus tells his followers that He is going away. The most familiar version is Matthew 28:18-20, which reads, “And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”
The instructions Jesus gave in this “Great Commission” are a little more critical than those your parents might gave you. But the bottom line was that Jesus had an expectation of our behavior while He was away. He had invested a lot in his followers, and he wanted them to continue to live and act according to His standards. Jesus made it clear that He was coming back, and this was what He expected of them until His return. Do you see the parallel between Jesus and your parents?
You might be thinking, “There were many things Jesus said in the Bible, so how can we do all of them?” That’s a fair question. But consider this: throughout your life, your parents taught you many beneficial things. But before they leave you for a while, they recap the most important ones. Jesus also taught many valuable lessons. But let’s consider that one of the last things He said was likely one of the most important things He said. If Jesus had a “Top Ten” list, sharing the Good News (Gospel) of His salvation to the world would be on it!
So how does all this affect your life? For starters, you have to decide if you’re even going to obey what Jesus said. Then you have to figure out what you can do to spread the Gospel. Jesus said, “…you are the light of the world,” and “…let your light shine before men,” and “…they will know you by your love.” One of the easiest ways to spread the Gospel is simply letting God’s love flow out of you to others. You can also stretch beyond your comfort zone and engage in a WOGM Global mission venture that will take you “to the ends of the earth.”
1. Read the “Great Commission” passages at the end of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. List some of the key phrases that you find in all three books.
2. Write 3-4 things you can start doing to show God’s love to people around you. Here are a few ideas to get you going: the music you listen to, the websites you visit, the things you write on FB and Twitter, the way you speak to friends, etc.
3. In your own words, say a prayer committing to obey one of the last things Jesus told you to do – spread the Gospel – and ask God to help you know how to do this more.