After he had risen from the grave Jesus instructed his disciples to go to Galilee where he would meet with them. It was on the Mount of Olives where he gave them what is often called the Great Commission. Their task was from that time forward to go into the world and to make disciples of all the nations.
The Great Commission actually had three parts. The first of these was the requirement to make disciples. This is quite well known to all of the churches. A great deal of energy and effort is put into this part of the Great Commission by many churches today. They spend a good deal of time in the process of making disciples, and this is a good thing for it is important that all people have the opportunity to come to the Lord. The benefit they receive is a better life now and the promise of eternal life in the future.
However there were two other elements to the Great Commission, which are to greater or lesser degrees either ignored or not well understood. Not by all churches as there are always exceptions to the rule, but the vast majority focus mainly on the first element of the Great Commission to the detriment and sometimes the exclusion of the others. In this post I will look only at the first element, making disciples, but will look at the other two elements in more detail in the next couple of posts.
In regards to making disciples, it was at this time that we see the Lord for the first time declare open the way for all mankind to come to him. No longer was the promise of being God’s people limited to the nation of Israel, but it was now opened to all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues. Under the New Covenant your lineage, race, colour of skin and ethnicity was immaterial. All people had the way open to come to God through Jesus Christ under the New Covenant.
Of course this was not the first time this had been spoken of for the prophets in the Old Testament had prophesied that this would occur. But at this time when Jesus specifically said, “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…” (Verse 19) he opened the floodgates, announcing that the time had come and the prophecies were fulfilled regarding this matter.
It was then that he told the disciples what they should do in making disciples. He had already taught them all they needed to know and given them his own example to follow. Now they needed to take that knowledge and information forward to expand the knowledge of God and Jesus Christ among all peoples by following the second and third elements of the Great Commission.