Originally published in Pulpit Helps, February 2007.
"And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all 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'" (Matt. 28:18-20, NASB).
From the very first Sunday school class we attend to the very last missionary presentation we listen to, the verses of Christ's "Great Commission" are drummed into us. Is it possible that we've forgotten the powerful meaning of this passage through its frequent repetition?
To treat the final words of Mathew's Gospel as anything less than the crucial command of the entire Bible is to misunderstand the theme of reconciliation that runs through both the Old Testament and the New. God promised reconciliation almost immediately following the Fall (Gen. 3:15), and His plan culminates in the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and the subsequent disciple-making by the church (cf. 2 Cor. 5:18-20). I'd like to offer seven points of exposition from this passage that all believers would do well to remember.
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