Commission of the King | Matthew 28:16-20
Topic: Gospel Passage: Matthew 28:16–20
Christopher Rich – April 3, 2016
Passion of the King - The Book of Matthew Pt. 5
Wk10: Commission of the King | 28:16-20
Introduction | Not a P.S. & Not for the few but for all.
Good Morning! This is it! Nearly 90 sermons and nearly two and half years have led up to our final sermon in the book of Matthew. This week we are finishing Part 5 of Matthew, the “Passion of the King” We spent several weeks leading up to Easter, looking at Jesus path to the cross where he took our taking our defeat for us on Good Friday. We celebrated His victorious resurrection on Easter! And this week we will see the final commission He gives his disciples to make disciples and live for him. In all of this the identity of Jesus has been made clear throughout. Jesus is the savior-king, Christ, Messiah of God’s people. He is the king crucified for his people he is the Savior risen for His people. As we read there is there is a tendency for us to look at this like some sort of appendix to the gospel. The incarnation of God in Jesus has happened in the beginning of the book, all the preaching, teaching, feedings, healings, have happened. The final week in Jerusalem has been explored and expounded on we saw the cross and we saw the empty tomb. Jesus is alive! So we have hope in this life and the next. It is important for us to remember this is not a post script or afterthought like when your wife tells you to get milk on the way home. It is also not laying out the call of varsity level Christians above and beyond those who have hope for salvation in Jesus. There is simply no category for believer of Jesus that isn’t also a follower of Jesus. The New Testament definition of a Christian is interchangeable with that of disciple. This final section contains big themes of Jesus divine identity, his mission for his people, their response, and where hope and comfort is found.
Matt 28:16-20 | 16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
PART I | Verse 16-18 | A Great Response to a Great King
This is a small but incredibly significant section, this is nothing less that the mission statement of God’s people for the that last two millennia. God’s earthly plan for the increase of His Kingdom on earth is for Disciples of Jesus Go and make disciples of Jesus. If we are going to attempt to live out this commission from our King we’re going to need to know that a disciple of Jesus is. A disciple has been saved by Jesus work. The resurrection of Jesus did and does demand a response. Last week we say resistance, rejection, of the resurrection but we also saw how it was received by Mary Magdalene and the other Mary. When Jesus meet them he instructs them “Go and tell my brothers” to meet Him in Galilee. Because of the redeeming work of Jesus on the cross, estranged sinners are now adopted members of God’s family. So disciples are first and foremost members a family defined not by their bloodline but a family formed by the shed blood of Jesus in their place. Because of the work of Jesus Disciples of Jesus are members of Jesus’ family.
As a family identified by Jesus, they gather around Jesus. The eleven disciples go to Galilee to meet the risen Jesus on a familiar mountain top. This is going to be a significant time, it is the last words of Jesus in Matthew. They see the risen Jesus and worship him as God. “but some doubted,” I love this because it shows us that even disciples who knew, served, followed Jesus still struggled with doubt (translated another way “hesitation”). This should be incredibly encouraging for us that our faith doesn’t have to be rocked or jettisoned merely because we have moments of doubt or questioning. I believe the answer for doubt is the greatness of God in Jesus. Jesus meets worshipers and doubters and answers them both with All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Jesus is no longer the suffering servant, the man of sorrows, acquainted with grief. Jesus is now the victorious King, acquainted with all authority imaginable, who will return in glory. Because of Jesus Identity Disciples of Jesus are worshipers of Jesus’ divinity.
PART II | Verse 19-20 | A Great Commission
Jesus is no longer limited to his human form, he has told his disciple he has all authority over the entire universe, and yet he doesn’t then tell his disciples what He is going to do, he tell them what they are going to do because of it!! We are here because of the great commission. We are here for the great commission.
Go, Therefore What is the therefore, there for? In this case Because Jesus is the king, because Jesus has all authority in Heaven and on earth, now go and actively live out the mission of Jesus. He has authority over us and over our mission field. He will empower and equip us to fulfill the mission he’s called us to.
We are a sent people. But what does that mean? It means we are called to regularly go from our places of comfort to places that challenge us. It means we cross lines that make us uncomfortable in order to be ambassadors of Christ kingdom and pointing people to our risen king. Because we can easily forget this, Mission is never something that can be assumed. As disciples we have to be constantly reminded Gospel Living is no less that a call to personal holiness; however, if it ends there it is incomplete. Jesus commands us to GO on faithful outward mission, meaning beyond ourselves, because he knows our default is to an inward focus. Why don’t we do this? We like staying! We like familiar, we like comfortable, and we like settling. How tempting is it to be in places and with people that only encourage and never challenge.
We need to have both a broader view of what it means to “go” Some are so excited about cross cultural missions, or believe the mission field is only far away and out. If you’re not living on mission in the culture you actually grew up and know the best what makes you think you’re going to somehow get fired up to be on mission in places you don’t know at all. Some are called to go to all nations, some are called to stay and make disciples of this nation. We talk about being missionaries and being a sent people that doesn’t mean everyone will leave Snohomish County or our region because there is a unique and challenging mission field right here. Because Jesus is sent Disciples of Jesus of ambassadors of Jesus’ kingdom and mission.
I am currently struggling with this because we’re homeschooling and I’m working for the church so much of my life rhythms are around here. Last year I had Elliot in football and by the second week I knew all the parents names, was learning their stories, and passionate about forming relationships with them, two weeks into this season I don’t know hardly any of the parents and I think the difference is this year Pastor’s Nate’s son is on the same team so I see him each practice and it’s just so easy to jump right in to talking with them.
Make disciples of all nations. So a going is clear but now we’ve go to know what we are going to do. What is a disciple? Disciples of Jesus increasingly submit to the authority and Lordship of Jesus in every aspect of life and encourage others to do likewise. Disciple is both a noun and verb. You are a disciple and you disciple.
My ROAD Group said, being a disciple is like being a parent, you become a parent on the day your first kid is born, but 10 years later you’re still a parent but it looks a lot different. The heart behind that is you have a new identity that is others focused which you grown in for the purposes of blessing others. When you begin you’re completely overwhelmed by the task in front of you and you plow ahead day-by-day, week-by-week. You grow, they grow, the challenges look different for each kid and during each season of life. You never stop being a parent but by God’s grace your experience and competence as a parent grows yet there are still set back and time you still feel overwhelmed. Your growth as a parent has a direct impact on the people around you which you’ve been called to disciple.
When are you thinking about these things? How many of you know you’re called to make disciples? How many of you would say you’re actively doing that? We are all called to participate in fulfilling the great commission but it will look very different for each of us at different times and places in our lives.
Where have you been called to make disciples? Where is your primary responsibility? The church, the people of God have a responsibility to make disciples of all nations, yet we are so individualistic we read a command and commission like this and we easily get overwhelmed and discouraged, and forget it is a communal charge. Jesus doesn’t pull Andrew aside and say it’s on you buddy, all of it. He tells all eleven. To be clear these guys saw some amazing things happen but the commission is multigenerational. We have to be ok with pursuing this commission knowing we may never see the fruition of it in our life time. (Cathedrals whose designers never got to see the finished product.) But understand we have people and responsibilities right in front of us. There are many different environments we can go and make disciples.
Maybe the Going for you in this season in your life is for the gospel to penetrate deeper into your own life and heart. if you’re married you have a responsibility to encourage your spouse. We’ve got a lot of young families making disciples might be taking on a different look during this season. You’ve got kids God has given you as a gift for you to point them to Jesus. When you’re serving in Kids Road you’re not babysitting you’re disciple making. When you’re studying God’s word on your own you’re making disciples.
Disciples display progress, not perfection.We all start at different places so growing as a disciple will look differently for each of us. If you’re a prodigal Son, like I was, a big part of discipleship was simply no longer walking in specific sins. For my friend whose parents lead a fruitful family and marriage ministry and we’re intentionally parented in light of the gospel for the purpose of being a disciple who makes disciples he didn’t go through that period, he displays a maturity beyond his years. Growing in submission to the lordship of Jesus in every aspect of life is gift of God so disciples are changed by Jesus’ grace.
Disciples who make disciples live lives that are imitable, not unattainable. Paul tells the Corinthians imitate me as I imitate Christ. We should be walking in a manner worthy of our salvation and that others can then follow (AS WE FOLLOW CHIRST) Jesus doesn’t tell them you’re my disciples, no go replicate yourselves find your own disciples. No he tells them to go and make disciples who are going to have their primary allegiance to the God of the Bible in Jesus. That’s why merely coming to a Sunday service, while a significant part of being and making disciples, cannot be all of it. Otherwise we won’t have disciples of Jesus, we’ll have disciples of me and the other pastors. No Bueno. Jesus wants us to have a broad view of what discipleship and disciple making is while having a narrow view of who a disciple follows.
Baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, a disciple is one who has converted from their belief in their own ability to save themselves (or that they have no need to be saved at all) to someone who has trusted and placed all their faith and hope to be reconciled to the God of the Bible through the work of Jesus in their place, and empowered by the Holy Spirit to live new lives for him. That is why our baptism shirts say simply “Buried with Jesus, Risen for Him.” A disciple of Jesus is no less than a convert to the Gospel Truth of Christianity but it is also more than a mere convert. Teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. This is what we call Gospel Living. Jesus doesn’t say, so take what you like about what I said that works for you or in your context, he said ALL I have commanded. This will take a lifetime to unpack pursue, grow in, as we repent, believe, and obey over and over. It means there will be parts of his commands we find ourselves inclined to and should continue and other commands we will find ourselves hostile to we need to grow in submission and obedience.
All of the law drills down to Love God and Love People and while that is incredibly simple it is also incredibly complex. How will you know how to be a disciple if you do not know the teachings of Jesus, sermons, parables, sayings, and even his very ways of being. This is where the student portion of discipleship comes in. You have to be prepared to be a lifelong learner where your only graduation or promotion is when you move to glory at your death. Knowing the commands of Jesus are important, why? In order for you to ACTUALLY DO THEM! We are not to be hears of the word only but doers. Francis Chan uses the analogy of telling his daughter to do the dishes and her responding with “daddy I studied and prayed about what you said and I believe you’re clear do the dishes.” It’s a fail if she doesn’t actually do the dishes. This might mean you need to spend more time with people than you currently do. It might mean you need to seek out people you can learn from. Maybe it’s a bible study. Learning Jesus commands is no less than knowing God’s word, but is also more than. Disciples of Jesus are learners and doers of Jesus’ words and ways.
What does the attempting to fulfill the Great Commission look like at Damascus Road?
We gather to worship our King, hear God’s word in a way we hope stirs worship of Jesus for who he is, to remember we’re part of something larger than ourselves, to be encouraged to go live lives of response.
We gather in groups to know each other well enough to see how we can learn from each other and encourage one another to increasingly submit more of our lives to the Lordship of Jesus. it is where we make time experience the closeness, warmth, of being part of a family of families. “As family we go”
We equip one another by having intentional times to gather to study Jesus’ commands in book and bible studies, for men and women. We spend time intentionally training leaders hoping they will do likewise with others. We create spaces for people to live out the commands of Jesus in the church and community.
We GO as individuals and families scatter into our jobs, or neighborhoods, and activities always being prepared to give a reason for the hope that is within us. We love and serve our cities. We Go as families sent out in to foreign mission fields (Chad and Jamie Dimon with MAF). We Go sending out church planters and core teams to plant churches from our body and financial support the work of other church planters.
What is your next step? Do you need to repent of your sin, believe the gospel and submit your life to Jesus? Have you believed in your heart and confessed with your lips the Jesus is Lord and now you need to be baptized publically declaring your allegiance to Jesus and the God of the bible? Do you need to start living life as part of the family of God by committing to God’s people? Join a ROAD Group or Join Road 101 starting next week.
Do you need to grow in your understanding of God’s words? Hey I don’t really know or understand what Jesus commands of us? Read, study God’s word, go through Multiply. Do you know the commands of God in his word but you are not actively living them out? Repent and obey.
PART III| Verse 20 | A Great Comfort
Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Know this you are not alone. We have each other, yes but more than that we have Jesus who doesn’t promise to be with us but tells us he IS with us. All of the sudden all the doubt and hesitation and overwhelming nature of this commission is settled when we consider Jesus with us saying simply, take my hand, follow me.
We think we’re on some race were Jesus will meet us at the end but until then it’s up to us and that’s just not so. He doesn’t say “ok just do your best and I’ll check in with you later.” Hope you figure it out. That is why we have, God’s truth, prayer, the Holy Spirit and community to encourage us with the presence of Christ.
My grace is sufficient for you; I will never leave you or forsake you.
If we have tasted and seen that the Lord is good, if we’ve experienced the Gospel we should desire to share it. If all authority has been given to Jesus, if he is with us now and always, if he has sent us to go and make disciples why wouldn’t we? We simply need to continually and increasingly Trust Jesus.
At Damascus Road Church we are people who have been saved by Jesus work, are being changed by Jesus Grace, and hope to live on Jesus Mission. Our greatest hope and sincere prayer for you, our city, and this world, is they would Trust Jesus.
We’re going to spend some time in prayer about the implications of this commission from King Jesus.
Pray asking God’s guidance to reveal one area of your life you need to increasingly submit to the lordship of Jesus, or grow as a disciple who makes disciples.
Pray for the strength and opportunity to take a demonstrable step to begin to grow in this area.
Pray specifically for one person you know or are in contact with who you hope to see become a disciple of Jesus.