The final piece of the puzzle came at the very end of the book. God gave us the Gospels full of drama and excitement, and like a true story-teller, he saved the best for last.
After his incredibly brutal execution on the cross, Jesus rose from the dead and sent a message to his disciples telling him to meet him on a certain mountain in Galilee. When they saw him alive and well, he said to them:
“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…” (Matthew 28:18b-20a, NASB).
This is known as the great commission, but Streamside concludes that it is the great omission of the unity Jesus prayed for.
Think about it. How many sermons have you heard on missionary Sunday using this passage? Aren’t they always about going, making, and baptizing disciples? Sometimes the fourth verb – “teaching” – is mentioned, but only in the sense of sending missionaries to set the natives straight, to obey us.
But have you ever heard the rest of that fourth clause preached? I have not. It does not stop with teaching them, but rather to teach them to obey all that Jesus commanded us!
In other words, we’ve got to practice it before we can preach it. Have you ever heard the Great Commission preached this way? I doubt it, and this is the Great Omission.
So what are the commands of Jesus? There are far more than I realized, and I would bet you are no exception. You will remember a couple right away, so we will start with those next time. But I believe you will be surprised at how many more there are as we look at them over the next few weeks.
Hurry back to Streamsideunity.com for the whole series. This can unite us as family!