The message delivered during the Sunday church service we attended in Amman yesterday was appropriately on the Great Commission of Christ found in Mathew 28:18-21. I love how God arranges such things.
(Image: Sunday service at Amman Baptist School)
As a former missions pastor, director of missions, and leader of various missions organizations, I’ve heard and preached many sermons on the call to ‘go’ and the Great Commission passages in particular.
I thought I had heard it all.
In addition to the setting within a Muslim nation, a point in this particular sermon really resonated with me, though.
For those of you who are not familiar with the passage, it confidently states:
Then Jesus came to them and said, "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 everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
The point from the pulpit was that we should notice the four or five "all" statements within these verses.
Jesus starts by stating that he has "all authority." He then challenges us to go into "all nations" in order to tell all about Him, and to teach them to obey all that He has commanded. He then ends with a reminder that he is with us "all-ways," which is both a comfort and a reminder that the One with all authority is the power behind our work.
I noted mentally that the passage also calls us to baptize people into all persons of the triune God; that the unity of trinity of the One true God is a non-negotiable point that is to be known and communicated to all right from the get-go. It is not something to be watered-down or avoided under any circumstance, let alone the Muslim context that challenges this truth so rigorously.
We are to tell the "all" of God.
A secondary point was that the passage wasn’t meant for just the disciples. This is clear in that Jesus promises to be with us "until the end of the age." The end of the church has certainly covered many generations since then. The command is therefore for all of us, for all of time, until the second coming.
Let’s look at the passage again, then, within this fuller and ‘all-encompassing’ context…
All of God’s nature and identity
All the commands of God
Allways present…with all comfort and empowering
For all of us
For all of time
This is not a passage of small measures. It is a heavy-weight passage of totality.
Are we all listening and adhering to the call upon us all?
Are we approaching all and telling them of the all-in-all?
Are we truly surrendering all?