Great Commission

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The Great Commission, stained glass window, Cathedral Parish of Saint Patrick in El Paso, Texas STP-ELP19.jpg
The Great Commission, stained glass window, Cathedral Parish of Saint Patrick in El Paso, Texas
Relief The Great Commission by Albert Wider on the priests' grave in Widnau, Switzerland Albert Wider Priestergrab in Widnau 02.png
Relief The Great Commission by Albert Wider on the priests' grave in Widnau, Switzerland

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.

Contents

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 during his ministry dispatching disciples, including the seventy disciples, sending them to all the nations and giving them power over demons. 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 has yet to be fulfilled at the Second Coming.[ citation needed ]

History

It is not known who coined the term Great Commission, though it may have been Justinian von Welz [1] and it was later popularized by Hudson Taylor. [2]

New Testament accounts

The following comparison table is primarily based on the King James Bible (KJV) English translation of the New Testament. [3]

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 power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.'
  • 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 ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.'
  • 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: 'Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day: And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. And ye are witnesses of these things. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued 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 my Father hath sent Me, even so send I you'.
  • Jesus blew the Holy Spirit over them, said: 'Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.'.
  • Jesus taught the disciples for 40 days in Jerusalem.
  • Jesus: 'commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, "but wait for the promise of the Father, which," saith he, "ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence."'
  • Disciples asked if Jesus would soon restore the kingdom to Israel.
  • Jesus: 'It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part 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, whom 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

Related Research Articles

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gospel of Matthew</span> Book of the New Testament

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Preterism</span> Christian eschatological view

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Second Coming</span> Belief regarding the return of Jesus

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Disciple (Christianity)</span> Dedicated follower of Jesus

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">The gospel</span> Religious message of salvation or thanks

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Apostles in the New Testament</span> Primary disciples of Jesus

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<span class="mw-page-title-main">Acts 2</span> Chapter of the New Testament

Acts 2 is the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The book containing this chapter is anonymous but early Christian tradition asserted that Luke composed this book as well as the Gospel of Luke. This chapter records the events on the day of Pentecost, about 10 days after the ascension of Jesus Christ.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Acts 8</span> Chapter of the New Testament

Acts 8 is the eighth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. It records the burial of Stephen, the beginnings of Christian persecution, and the spread of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the people of Samaria and Meroe. The book containing this chapter is anonymous, but early Christian tradition uniformly affirmed that Luke composed this book as well as the Gospel of Luke.

References

  1. Castleman, Robbie F. "The Last Word: The Great Commission: Ecclesiology" (PDF). Themelios. 32 (3): 68.
  2. Castleman, Robbie F. "The Last Word: The Great Commission: Ecclesiology" (PDF). Themelios. 32 (3): 68.
  3. "Online Bible – King James Version". Biblehub.com. 2011. Retrieved 30 October 2022.