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The Great Commission, Part I - Therefore Go

Rev. Charles Oppong-Poku | October 12, 2023 | Matthew 28:19


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. Matthew. 28:19 (NIV)


That last hug, that last kiss, that last look and that last wave. Each of them is very important when you are leaving someone you love, especially if it could be the last time, you see them for a while. But the last word, that one last message, is precious. You try to make it pleasant, memorable, and affectionate but most of all, you want your one last word to count! The Great Commission is Jesus' last earthly message to his disciples in the Gospel of Matthew. While Jesus still leads and guides, this is the message he wants his disciples to remember as his parting command. This is his final message. He stresses emphatically that it is based on his authority over everyone and everything and everywhere. The Great Commission, found in Matthew 28:19, is a mandate that defines the mission of the Church. The verse begins with: "Therefore go." These two simple words carry profound implications for our faith and our role in sharing the Gospel. Jesus begins the Great Commission with the word "Therefore," linking it to His previous statement about all authority being given to Him in heaven and on earth. The word "Therefore" serves as a reminder that the Great Commission is not a standalone command but is grounded in the authority of Jesus. It flows from His sovereignty over all creation. This foundational truth assures us that our mission is divinely authorized and empowered. The central command of the Great Commission is "Go." It is an imperative, a call to action. "Go" underscores the active nature of our mission. It challenges us to step out of our comfort zones, cross-cultural and geographical boundaries, and intentionally engage in sharing the Gospel. It reminds us that the message of Christ is not meant to be confined but shared with the world. Jesus instructs His disciples to "Go and make disciples of all nations."

The phrase "Therefore go" is a rallying call for all believers. It is a reminder that our mission is firmly rooted in the authority of Jesus Christ. It compels us to action, urging us to take the Gospel to every corner of the world, making disciples of all nations.


You have to go before you can make! This begs the question "Am I going?" Am I taking the Gospel intentionally into the "highways and byways"? Into my school, my place of employment, my secular social gatherings? “Therefore go” is a command that applies to all followers of Jesus. We are to go. He calls us to "Go" without any "asterisks" or qualifiers.


Heavenly Father, I thank You for the privilege of being called to "go" and make disciples. I know you want people to be true followers, to be disciples. So forgive me, Father, for the times I have procrastinated because I worried the job was too big, too hard, too expensive, or too demanding personally. Help me to embrace this mission with a sense of urgency and commitment. May I always remember that it is grounded in the authority of Jesus Christ. In His name, I pray. Amen.



__ DAILY word study: GO The Word "Go" is translated from the following Greek word: "πορευθέντες" (poreuthentes): This is derived from "poreuomai," which means to go or journey. The participle form "poreuthentes" indicates an action that accompanies or follows the main verb. It's often translated as "having gone" or "as you go."

The Greek word "poreuthentes" is used extensively in the New Testament to convey the idea of going or journeying. It's not only about physical movement but also about engaging in a course of action or fulfilling a commission:

  • Missionary Sending: It is used in the context of sending disciples or messengers on a mission (Matthew 10:5, Mark 6:7).

  • Healing and Teaching: Jesus often uses this word when instructing individuals to go and share about their healing or what they have learned (e.g., Mark 5:19, Mark 1:38).

  • Imperative for Discipleship: In the Great Commission, it takes the form of a command, emphasizing the active and ongoing nature of disciple-making.

In Matthew 28:19, the command to "go" is not merely about physical movement but signifies an active engagement in the mission of making disciples. It sets the disciples on a journey of spreading the Gospel to all nations. It means:

  1. Active Engagement: The command to "go" implies active engagement in the mission. It's a call to move beyond comfort zones and actively participate in the spread of the Gospel.

  2. Continuous Action: The participle form "poreuthentes" suggests continuous action. Disciple-making is not a one-time event but an ongoing process embedded in the journey of life.

  3. Universal Scope: The command to go to all nations underscores the universal scope of the Gospel. It challenges any form of exclusivity and emphasizes the inclusivity of God's redemptive plan for all people.

  4. Mission and Purpose: The disciples are directed to go purposefully, making disciples worldwide. Their journey is not solitary, as they go in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. With the assurance of Jesus' perpetual presence, they embark on their mission with divine authority and unwavering companionship until the end of the age.

The word “go” urges us to see the Great Commission as an ongoing, dynamic involvement rather than a fixed order. It motivates us to be purposeful in our pursuit of making disciples, acknowledging that this mission is not limited to a certain place but covers all the peoples of the world.


Consider how your understanding of this call influences your daily life. In what ways are you actively engaging in the mission of making disciples as you journey through life?

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