We have probably heard sermons or classes on Matthew 28:18-20 for years. In this verse, Jesus said the following: “… All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” So many times we hear these sermons or classes in an effort to help us realize that the world outside of our country needs the gospel. That is a true statement. As a matter of fact, Everyone, Everywhere needs the Gospel all the time.
The predominant verb in this statement is neither go nor teach but rather make. The word, matheteuo, in verse 19 is mistranslated in the King James Version. “Teach” in verse 19 should be translated as “make disciples”. The idea is to get the lost to follow your example into a Heavenly Home. Please let that sink in! This is one place of several passages that lets me know if I am living correctly then others can do what I do and be faithful unto God Himself. Paul mentions this same idea in 1 Corinthians 11:1. It is interesting to note that God expects us to use our influence to reach others. This verse allows us to understand fully the fact that only you can win your friends to Christ.
There is also another principle found in verse 20 to help Christians understand the process of faithfulness. In verse 19 the disciple is made. In verse 20 the GROWTH of that disciple is seen clearly. Do you know the same spiritually speaking as you did when you were baptized into Christ? I would dare to say that you know more than that day. GROWTH. Imagine your baby/child is 2 years old and had not grown an inch or a pound since birth. Would you be concerned? Would you take this child to the doctor to find out what is wrong? Of course, we all would. When you and I contrast that with the Family of God, we can look around and see a vast number of folks who have been members of the church for decades but who have not grown past about 11 years old, spiritually speaking. We must put forth a conservative effort to continue in our spiritual growth.
In verse 20, Jesus allows us to know that He is always with us even to the end. Jesus will be with us as His brother and sisters in perpetuity. The comfort found in this thought should ease our minds and serve as motivation to continue to spread the borders of God’s Kingdom.
May God bless us as we follow His plan to evangelize a lost and dying world.