Great Commission

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In Christianity, the Great Commission is the instruction of the resurrected Jesus Christ to his disciples to spread the gospel to all the nations of the world. The Great Commission is outlined in Matthew 28:1620, where on a mountain in Galilee Jesus calls on his followers to make disciples of and baptize all nations in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

The Great Commission is similar to the episodes of the commissioning of the Twelve Apostles found in the other Synoptic Gospels, though with significant differences.[citation needed] Luke also has Jesus dispatching disciples during his ministry, sending them to all the nations and giving them power over demons, including the seventy disciples. The dispersion of the Apostles in the traditional ending of Mark is thought to be a 2nd-century summary based on Matthew and Luke.[citation needed]

It has become a tenet in Christian theology emphasizing ministry, missionary work, evangelism, and baptism.[citation needed] The apostles are said to have dispersed from Jerusalem and founded the apostolic sees[citation needed], such as those at Corinth, Philippi, Ephesus, and Rome (see also: Holy See). Preterists believe that the Great Commission and other Bible prophecies were fulfilled in the 1st century while futurists believe Bible prophecy is yet to be fulfilled at the Second Coming.[citation needed]

History

It is not known who coined the term Great Commission, which was popularized by Hudson Taylor.[1]

New Testament accounts

The following comparison table is primarily based on the New International Version (NIV) English translation of the New Testament.[2]

Matthew 28:16–20 Mark 16:14–18 Luke 24:44–49 John 20:19–23 Acts 1:4–8
  • The eleven disciples went to Galilee according the instructions of an angel, and later Jesus himself.
  • On the designated mountain they saw Jesus: some worshipped him, others still doubted.
  • Jesus: 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore go 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 all that I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'
  • Jesus appeared to the eleven disciples as they sat eating.
  • Jesus accused them of unbelief because they did not believe those who had allegedly seen him after he had risen.
  • Jesus: 'Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will be made well.'
  • Jesus appeared in Jerusalem to the eleven disciples and others as they stood talking.
  • Jesus repeated that everything written about him in the Scriputes had to be fulfilled.
  • Jesus: 'This is what is written: The Christ will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and in His name repentance and forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And behold, I am sending the promise of My Father upon you. But remain in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.'
  • Jesus appeared in Jerusalem to the disciples (except Thomas) who were locked down in a house.
  • Jesus wished them peace twice and said: 'As the Father has sent Me, so also I am sending you'.
  • Jesus blew the Holy Spirit over them, said: 'Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld', and left.
  • Jesus taught the disciples for 40 days in Jerusalem.
  • Jesus: 'Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift the Father promised, which you have heard Me discuss. For John baptised with water, but in a few days you will be baptised with the Holy Spirit.'
  • Disciples asked if Jesus would soon restore the kingdom to Israel.
  • Jesus: 'It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by His own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.'

Interpretations

The commission from Jesus has been interpreted by evangelical Christians[which?] as meaning that his followers have the duty to go, make disciples, teach, and baptize. Although the command was initially given directly only to Christ's eleven Apostles, evangelical Christian theology has typically interpreted the commission as a directive to all Christians of every time and place, particularly because it seems to be a restatement or moving forward of the last part of God's covenant with Abraham in Genesis 12:3.[citation needed] Commentators[which?] often contrast the Great Commission with the earlier Limited Commission of Matthew 10:5–42, in which they were to restrict their mission to their fellow Jews, who Jesus referred to as "the lost sheep of the house of Israel". (Matthew 15:24)[non-primary source needed]

Full Preterists believe[citation needed] that the Great Commission was already fulfilled based on the New Testament passages "And they went out and preached everywhere" (Mark 16:20), "the gospel that you have heard, which was proclaimed in all creation under heaven" (Colossians 1:23), and "Now to Him who is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which has been kept secret for long ages past, but now is manifested, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the eternal God, has been made known to all the nations" (Romans 16:25–26).[non-primary source needed]

See also

References

  1. ^ Castleman, Robbie F. "The Last Word: The Great Commission: Ecclesiology" (PDF). Themelios. 32 (3): 68.
  2. ^ "Online Bible – New International Version". Biblehub.com. 2011. Retrieved 10 February 2021.
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