“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, teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age” (Matthew 28:19-20, CEB).
After His death and resurrection in Jerusalem, Jesus made several post-resurrection appearances to His disciples in Jerusalem and in Galilee. It was in Galilee that Jesus appeared to His disciples (some believe the “more than 500” that Paul described in 1 Corinthians 15:6) and directed them to “go and make disciples of all nations.”
All Christians are very familiar with the Great Commission. In fact, you could say that Christianity is organized around the Great Commission. Almost everything we do as the Church is in response to the Great Commission.
But, in our zeal to perform the first part of the Great Commission, “Go and make disciples,” we sometimes omit the second part, “I will be with you.”
I think that Jesus was telling His disciples– after His death and resurrection and before His ascension into heaven–that He would still be with them in much the same way that He was with them for the three years of His earthly ministry. He talked with them. He taught them. He guided them. He counseled with them. He was with them. Jesus was their leader and they followed Him!
But, sometimes we want to implement, organize, expedite, administer and manage the Great Commission without consulting Jesus. We want to do it our own way instead of subjecting ourselves to the empowering presence of Jesus to direct us and enable us.
So, what if we decided to put Jesus first in the Great Commission? Maybe it would go something like this: “I will be with you, so go and make disciples?”
Jesus is with us! The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Jesus (Acts 16:7; Philippians 1:19), dwells in us and with us to empower us to accomplish the Great Commission. And, if you think about it, we can’t really make disciples for Jesus without His presence and power: “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8, CEB).
So, before we go make disciples for Jesus, we need to be with Jesus. We need Him to be present with us by making ourselves available to Him, by submitting our own will and our own way to God’s will and God’s way.
Because, the best way to eliminate the Great Omission from the Great Commission is through Complete Submission.
Jesus said to everyone, ‘All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross daily, and follow me.’ (Luke 9:23, CEB)