CM2000 2 January, 2001
Plenary: Recommitting to Jesus Christ, His Commandment and His Commission

The Great Commission by Jesus

Dr. Hyung Ja Lee

Matthew 28:18-20: 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 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."

I thank God for the privilege and the honor bestowed upon me by Celebrate the Messiah 2000 Committee to speak on the Word of God.

  1. The text we have just read today is the well-known Great Commission of the Lord Jesus Christ. This is neither a command issued by a commanding general of an army, nor an order by a President. This is a command given to us by Jesus Christ the King of Kings, who has all the authority in the heavens and the earth. We often consider a command given by a commanding general or a president very important and obey it, but we neglect the Great Commission by the Lord Jesus who is the King of Kings and the Lord of lords This command is not a free option which we have freedom either to obey or disobey.

  2. This Command is the last will spoken by Jesus before His ascension.

    We have a fable called A Green Frog. There was a little green frog, who would not listen to his mother frog. When he was told to sit down, he would stand up, and when he was told to stand up, he would sit down. When told to go up, he goes down, and when told to go down, he went up. The mother frog got sick and was dying and so she left her last will with the green frog. "When I die, please, bury my body by the stream." She thought he would not obey her and bury her body by the stream but in the mountain. And his mother finally died. The green frog, who have not been usually obedient to his mother frog, thought he should obey her for the first time since he died, and he buried her by the stream according to her last wish. So whenever rain comes the green frog who is so worried if her body be swept away by the rain, cries "Croak, croak..." So goes the green frog fable.

    Even a miserly creature like the green frog tries to obey the last will of his mother. We Christians ought to obey all the commandments of our Lord Jesus and particularly His last will, otherwise we cannot be called faithful Christians.

  3. 3. Our passage has three parts Missions, Sacrament and Education.

    First, Missions for the world. The Apostles obeyed this command and the Gospel spread all over the world as we see today. However, there are still many unreached people groups, which have not had an opportunity to hear the Gospel. We must especially reach out to these unreached people groups. The most precious ministry in the world is missions. The greatest expression of love is also missions. Yes, it is good thing to feed the hungry and clothe the naked and provide housing for the homeless, but giving them eternal life is the greatest love of all. Therefore, let us not neglect such a precious work as preaching the Gospel to them who have not heard the Gospel.

    Second, Baptism in the name of the Trinitarian God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. This is a sacrament stet up by Jesus. This is, of course, not what we lay people do, but what the ordained ministers are expected to do. However we should reach the unbelievers with the Gospel, but also look after them until they get baptized. We cannot relax simply because they are saved. They should be baptized to be fully identified with Christ. Therefore we must care for them until they get baptized and be received into a local church.

    Third, Teach them to obey whatsoever Jesus commanded them. This is education. Missions and education must go together. The new Christians should be taught to do all things which the Lord commanded His disciples. Faith without work is dead. The precious teachings of the Lord must be obeyed so they become the light and the salt of the world. Those who obey the Lord are qualified to be called saints.

  4. 4. The Lord said, "Behold, I will be with you always unto the end of the age."

    In order for us to fulfill the Great Commission, there is one important condition that the Lord has to be with us. Our Lord told His disciples not to leave Jerusalem but wait for what the Father had promised (Acts 1:4) and also "When the Holy Spirit is come upon you, you shall receive power and be witnesses unto me in Jerusalem, all Judea, Samaria and the uttermost part of the earth" (Acts 1:8). Therefore if we desire to fulfill the Great Commission of our Lord, we have to receive the promised power of the Holy Spirit in our ardent prayers. I pray that all of us rededicate ourselves to be faithful witnesses for the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

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