Context Matters

Posted by Dan Rude on

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.  – Matthew 28:19-20

We are called Great Commission churches. But what is the Great Commission? It’s given in some verses out of Matthew 28. You can read them above.

But what is the context for the Great Commission, these famous words spoken by Jesus? Look at verse 18 of Matthew 28: “And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.’” So the context is very important—this is Jesus the Risen Savior speaking, Jesus who has all authority in heaven and on earth.

Let’s think about the importance of context for a minute. There’s an example from Will Ferrell, actor and comedian. He quotes the line, “A baby’s laughter is the most beautiful sound you will ever hear.” Then he comments on this seemingly unquestionable truth: “Unless it’s 3 am. And you’re home alone. And you don’t have a baby.” He’s right—context matters. Rather than beauty, we may have insanity here!

So the context for the Great Commission matters. Jesus is alive from the dead, having gone through the cross and the tomb. At this point He could have established His kingdom, a new political order in Israel. But He didn’t. Instead He gave these directions to His disciples. Jesus is talking from a position of strength and great power. And He says that the Great Commission is the overarching task for every Christian and in every church.

Submitted by:
Dan Rude
The Great Commission
Faithwalkers Midwest 2016

One-Year Bible Reading
Joshua 15:1-63
Luke 18:18-43
Psalm 86:1-17
Proverbs 13:9-10

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SCRIPTURE REFERENCES: Unless otherwise identified, Scripture quotations are from the New American Standard Bible © The Lockman Foundation 1960, 1962, 1963, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977. Scripture quotations marked (NIV) are from the Holy, Bible, New International Version, copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society; (KJV) are from the Authorized or King James Version of the Bible; (LB) are from The Living Bible © 1971 by Tyndale House Publishers, Wheaton, IL; (TM) are from The Message © 1993 by NavPress Publishers; (NLT) are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, © 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publisher, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved.
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