The Church of the Living God
1/29 – The Great Omission (Matthew 28:16-20)
Introduction — In this final section of his gospel, Matthew tells of Jesus’ meeting with His closest disciples. These men arrive in Galilee, and proceed to the mountain Jesus designated. When they see Him, they worship Him, though some express doubt. Nevertheless, Jesus draws close to them. He speaks to them. He says, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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.” Jesus’ words are powerful and precise. First, Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth. Second, Jesus tells these men that wherever they go they must make disciples of all the nations. Third, Jesus promises these men that He is always with them. These men lack nothing from Jesus to accomplish the mandate given by Jesus. They weren’t missing anything. But are we missing something? Do we live Jesus’ great commission, or do we perpetuate a great omission? What part of make disciples do we fail to grasp?
What part of make disciples do we fail to grasp?
Perhaps we fail to grasp the all authority in heaven and on earth part. That’s about His omnipotence. Perhaps we fail to grasp the as you go part. That’s about our onward movement. Perhaps we fail to grasp the all the nations part. That’s the people we are to reach, the one and all.
Obvious Reality of Jesus’ Resurrection (1-15)
Comments: In the last part of his gospel, Matthew gives vivid details of Jesus being alive, of rising from the dead. And there’s no doubt Jesus was dead. After hanging on a cross for hours, He yields up His spirit. Eyewitnesses see Him die. They see His body placed in a tomb. In fact, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary sit near the tomb. The next day, the chief priests and Pharisees make certain this tomb is sealed off and guarded well. Then, on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary come to look at the grave. These two see remarkable things: an angel who looks like lighting sitting upon the rolled away stone, guards shaking with fear, and an empty tomb. The angel says to the women, “Do not be afraid; for I know that you are looking for Jesus who has been crucified. He is not here, for He has risen, just as He said. Come, see the place where He was lying. Go quickly and tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead; and behold, He is going ahead of you into Galilee, there you will see Him; behold, I have told you.” The women leave the tomb quickly with fear and great joy. They run to tell Jesus’ disciples He’s alive. That’s when Jesus meets them and speaks with them. (He’s alive.) They come and take hold of His feet. (He’s alive.) They worship Him. (He’s alive.) Jesus tells them, “Do not be afraid; go and take word to My brothers to leave for Galilee, and there they will see Me.” Though the bribed soldier’s perpetuated lies about this event, there is no doubt Jesus is alive. Questions: Do we see the obvious reality of Jesus’ resurrection? Do we honestly believe He’s alive? Does the fact that Jesus is alive bring us joy? Do we quickly run to tell others Jesus is alive? Application: Let’s hold the truth of Jesus risen from the dead close to our hearts. Let’s live with contagious joy, quickly telling other people this good news. Let’s not be afraid to tell this good news. Let’s listen to Jesus. Let’s come close to Jesus. Let’s worship Jesus. OBEY HIM!
Obvious Obedience to Jesus in Seemingly Small Matters (16-19)
Comments: The eleven disciples proceed to Galilee, to the mountain Jesus designates. Jesus instructs them. They hear Him. They heed Him. They obey Him in a seemingly small matter. But all along that’s what their time with Him was like. Repent. Follow Me. Learn from Me. Go to that village. Preach to those people. Take no provisions. Get in the boat. Cast on the other side. Ask. Seek. Knock. And here they are, once again, obeying Jesus by keeping a simple appointment. That Jesus gives these eleven men clear directions is obvious. That they follow His directions is also obvious. They are on the mountain, and true to His word, Jesus is there. They see Him. They worship Him, though some are doubtful. But that doesn’t stop Jesus from giving them much weightier instructions. He actually tells these guys that wherever they go, they must 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. That’s an apparently impossible request. But from their three years’ time with Jesus, these men learned to obey Him in the incredibly small ways and the ridiculously impossible ways. They follow Jesus. They obey Jesus. Questions: How about us? Are we learning to obey Jesus in small ways? Do we hear His voice? Do we listen to Him? Do we follow Him? Do we obey Him? Do we yield to Him? Do we worship Him? Do we convey our doubts to Him? Do we bring our concerns to Him? Application: Let’s get on our knees before Jesus right now. Let’s confess our total need for Him. Let’s worship Him. Let’s keep our appointments to meet with Him. Let’s get real about our complacency toward Him. Let’s get excited about hearing from Him. Let’s spend time with Him. Let’s confess our disobedience to Him. Let’s follow Him. OBEY HIM!
Obvious Promise that Jesus is with Us (20)
Comments: And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age. With Jesus’ final words to His disciples, Matthew concludes his gospel. The last note is one of hope and encouragement and promise. Jesus is with His disciples. Jesus is with them always. Jesus is with them now and forever. For the eleven disciples who had spent such enriching times with Jesus, these words must have been like water to a thirsty man. To hear I am with you always is exactly what they needed at the moment. Their best teacher and greatest friend would constantly be with them. They could not mistake this obvious promise from Jesus. He is with them. He is with all those who follow Him. He is with us now and forever. Questions: How about us in this room? Do we believe Jesus’ promise? Do we believe He is with us? What practical difference does His presence make in our life when we leave this place today? What renewed picture of following Jesus’ call to make disciples do we gain from the breathtaking awareness that Jesus is with us every step of the way? Application: Let’s believe Jesus’ promise to His disciples. Let’s believe He is with us. Let’s live with renewed passion. Let’s live with eager hope. Let’s live with greater joy. Let’s live with bolder steps. Let’s go wherever He leads. Let’s follow Jesus. Let’s speak of Jesus. Let’s honor Jesus. Let’s teach about Jesus. Let’s worship Jesus. Let’s draw ever-closer to Jesus. Let’s listen to Jesus. Let’s learn from Jesus. Let’s teach others to learn from Jesus. Let’s go to the nations. Let’s do the obvious. Let’s make disciples. Let’s make this our great “o” mission: OBEY JESUS!
Word Study for Matthew 28:16-20
16 disciples (mathetes—follower; pupil; learner)
16 proceeded (porueomai—go; travel; move; walk)
17 worshiped (proskyneo—worship; bow down; fall down; revere)
17 doubtful (distazo—doubt; waver; hesitate)
18 came up (approach; draw near; go to)
18 authority (exousia—power; authority to rule; control over; dominion)
19 go (porueomai—go; travel; move; walk)
19 make disciples (matheteuo—be a disciple; make followers; instruct; teach; be a pupil)
19 nations (ethnos—nation; people; race)
19 baptizing (baptizo—wash; cleanse; to make fully wet)
20 teaching (didasko—to instruct; to provide instruction; to train)
20 observe (tereo—keep on; guard; obey; take care of; watch over)
20 end (synteleia—completion; accomplishment; consummation; conclusion)
20 age (aion—forever; era; universe; eternity; generation)
Application for Matthew 28:16-20
Let’s go where Jesus directs us to go.
Let’s look to Jesus.
Let’s worship Jesus.
Let’s listen to Jesus.
Let’s remember that Jesus has all authority in heaven and on earth.
Let’s make disciples of all the nations.
Let’s baptize people in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
Let’s teach people to obey all of Jesus’ commands.
Let’s always remember that Jesus is always with us.
Gospel Connections for Matthew 28:16-20
Jesus is alive. Jesus died on the cross as our atoning sacrifice. He was buried in a tomb. But after three days He arose, just as He said. Jesus appeared first to Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. He told them to have no fear. He told them to go and take word to His brothers to leave for Galilee. While the women were on their way, some of the guard came into the city and told the chief priests all that happened. After meeting together, the priests and elders agreed to give the soldiers a large bribe. The soldiers took the bribe and started spreading the fake news. But the eleven disciples proceeded on to Galilee, to the mountain Jesus designated. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him. But some doubted. Nevertheless, Jesus drew close to them. He spoke to them. He said, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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.”
Thoughts and Quotes for Matthew 28:16-20
Nothing teaches us about the preciousness of the Creator as much as when we learn the emptiness of everything else. ~ Charles H. Spurgeon
The "show business," which is so incorporated into our view of Christian work today, has caused us to drift far from our Lord's conception of discipleship. It is instilled in us to think that we have to do exceptional things for God; we have not. We have to be exceptional in ordinary things, to be holy in mean streets, among mean people, surrounded by sordid sinners. That is not learned in five minutes. ~ Oswald Chambers
Making disciples of Jesus is the overflow of the delight in being disciples of Jesus. ~ David Platt, Follow Me
Many Christians want the benefits of their belief, but they hesitate at the cost of discipleship. ~ Billy Graham
If a commission by an earthly king is considered an honor, how can a commission by a Heavenly King be considered a sacrifice? ~ David Livingstone
The gospel is only good news if it gets there in time. ~ Carl F.H. Henry
There is not a square inch in the whole domain of our human existence over which Christ, who is Sovereign over all, does not cry, “Mine!” ~ Abraham Kuyper
The Great Commission is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed. ~ Hudson Taylor
Any church that is not seriously involved in helping to fulfill the Great Commission has forfeited its biblical right to exist. ~ Oswald J. Smith
If the Great Commission is true, our plans are not too big; they are too small. ~ Pat Morley
The Great Commission will not be fulfilled with our spare time or spare money. ~ David Kim
Is not the commission of our Lord still binding upon us? Can we not do more than now we are doing? ~ William Carey