Tuesday, February 14, 2012

An Alternate Look at The Great Commission

Jesus said to His disciples, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Therefore as all of you are going make disciples of all the nations, immersing them in the character of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to treasure everything I have commanded you. And look, I Myself am with you every day, even to the end of the age." (Mathew 28:18-20)

Immerse Disciples in God's Character
The word baptize means immerse. I most places in scripture God's "name" is equivalent to God's character, His loving personality, His nature. So I think what Jesus was saying was two fold, first the outward display of water baptism, second the immersing of the disciples in the full character of God.

The Character of God the Father
Compassionate; Gracious; Slow to Anger; Abounding in Mercy, Loving-kindness, Truth, Faithfulness, & Trustworthiness; Forgiving Wickedness, Rebellion and Sin

The Character of Jesus
Servant; Did Not Lord It over Others; Led by Example; Humble; As A Child; As the Younger; As the Least; Last; Used No Force on Us; Was Not Driven by Selfish Ambition; Made Himself of No Reputation; Was Fully Human; Obedient Even Unto Death

The Character of the Holy Spirit
Comforter; Stays with us; Guide Us into All Truth; Testifies of Jesus; Convinces the world of sin to lead them to trust Jesus; Convinces Christians of their Righteousness in Christ Jesus; Reminds Satan of his coming Judgment; Does Not Speak of Himself; Shows Us Things to Come; Glorifies Jesus

For more on God's Character Listen to these books by Gayle Erwin.

Teach Disciples to Treasure Jesus's Commands
The word typically translated as obey here can also be translated as keep and has the idea of treasuring. "Treasure everything I have commanded you." This says a lot more than just enforcing rules with no reason given as to why the commands are helpful. What do people treasure? They treasure their families, pets, memories. Treasuring is profoundly personal. It isn't an "Oh well if I have too." It is a "Wow I love this! It is good for you and good for me!"

John directly received the commission from Jesus. In 1 John 3:23 John summarized the commands of Jesus.
1. Trust God
2. Love others as God has loved you.

For more on the commands of Jesus read my post Trust and Love, Everything We Need

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