The Great Commission
Tonight I will speaking concerning what Jesus said in Mark 16:15:
Mark 16:15 “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.”
Proclaim the Gospel.
That Gospel was proclaimed by Jesus, but He commissioned His followers to do the same.
In Matthew Chapter 10, our Jesus commissioned His first sold out followers, His Twelve Disciples. And it is important to us, that we realize that as we who have believed in Christ, and are His followers, and hence now His disciples, just as His 1st twelve, are to be sent out in one shape or another to preach and live the Gospel before people. We are to know the Father, and preach the message of His Son.
When Jesus said preach the Gospel, He was saying if we look at the Greek word for Gospel euaggelion “yoo-ang-ghel'-ee-on”, He was saying proclaim, “A Good Message”. The route word for euaggelion “yoo-ang-ghel'-ee-on”, is euaggelizō “yoo-ang-ghel-id'-zo” to announce the good news, declare it, bring it, show it, and preach it because it glad tidings. It was a good thing, a life giving thing, it’s an awesome thing, its the words of God.
Jesus’ followers were to declare this Gospel by living it as well as speaking it into being. The Gospel was declaring the Kingdom of God on the earth.
The Gospel, and the knowledge of the Kingdom was not to be something that was just personal though, even though it was, but it was to given to others so that they would experience the Kingdom just as those who possessed it did. Why? Because the Kingdom of God is for all people. Not just a select few who would hold it to themselves. The Kingdom of God was for all who would believe. There were no chosen few. There were no pre-invitations before birth. God did not preselect. All are given choice as directed by the Word of God.
We see in Chapter 4 of Matthew, Jesus beginning to gather His Disciples, and by Chapter 10 he has them all, they have spent time with Him, seen the Kingdom at hand, and heard the teachings of Jesus, even though there would be more teaching and seeing the Kingdom, Jesus sent them out.
Matthew 10:1, “And when He had called to Him His twelve disciples, He gave them authority over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.”
At this point we see authority being given to the twelve to do great things in the name of Jesus. We because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ through repentance and making Jesus the Lord of our lives at our conversion have received the same authority as those Disciples. It is all about belief to operate in that authority. For us, from what I see, we learn to walk in that authority, but it’s not about how smart we are, or having total knowledge of the subject.
There have been people who have healed the sick right after conversion only due to childlike faith. I believe many who have been in the church awhile, think you have to be seasoned of some sort to operate the way Jesus spoke of, but that is not true, it takes only faith and doing it. It is us having discernment and being with people who have discernment, which is good leadership guiding us to be released into our destiny in Christ to display the Gospel.
Jesus discipled His followers, and now He was wasting no time sending them out. I think that you and I would believe Jesus had good discernment to send them out when He did. It puts more emphasis on current church leaders to have discernment today to do the same. Amen!
But this too. I also believe that even if the individual wasn’t perfect, we do learn if we have an ear for the Spirit if we don’t follow through. As we all fail at one time or the other it becomes a learning experience. It is better to do in faith and possibly fail than not do it at all.
Matthew 10:5, “Jesus sent out these twelve, commanding them, saying, Do not go into the way of the nations, and do not enter into any city of the Samaritans. 6 But rather go to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7 And as you go, proclaim, saying, The kingdom of Heaven is at hand. 8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. You have received freely, freely give.”
From this scripture, we see that God sent Jesus first to the Jews. Jesus was to fulfill a promise that God gave to Israel in Jeremiah 31.
Jeremiah 31:31, “Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, 32 not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the LORD. 33 For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. 34 And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the LORD. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
Jesus came to do just that, reconcile Israel back to God through His death and resurrection.
But as we know, many rejected Him and His message, as I said last week, because Israel was looking for a Messiah King to rule from Jerusalem. Not some guy who grew up in Nazareth a son of a carpenter.
So these disciples who were now sent forth in Jesus name to Israel only, would later after Jesus’ resurrection from the dead, men and women who were now filled with the Holy Spirit, who would offer hope to all people. Jew and Gentile alike. Fulfilling what the Minor Prophet Hosea said concerning the Gentiles referenced by the Apostle Paul in Romans 9:25:
Romans 9:25, “As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.’” 26 “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.’”
So we can see Jesus fulfilling His task on earth, by demonstration, by teaching, through the preparation of His followers to fulfill the will and promises of God. Fulfilling and knowing that His people would soon reject Him and soon after suffer the consequences of that rejection from then until His return. But not just the Jews were going to suffer, but His believers would too in one form or another. Gather that.
So after Jesus gives the Disciples a commission, He then speaks and lays out to them what all Disciples of Christ are going to endure in one form or another His name starting at verse 16 of chapter 10 referencing persecution.
Now I believe that today and even through the ages, followers of Christ have held back from speaking about their relationship with Jesus because they fear rejection and persecution. Not just because they have read these passages, but because they know the worldly culture they live in, and people just don’t like confrontation.
The Gospel is about a loving God sending His one and only Son to the earth to be a sacrifice so He can reclaim His creation and enrich and empower their lives, but unfortunately, for to many the Gospel is harsh. It's like a perceived weight that they think will slow down their lives. It’s really a truth they don’t want to deal because it confronts a lifestyle of the world that people do not want to leave or give up.
The Gospel brings anger, and even hatred against Jesus. So that causes the delivers of the message to be targets of that anger and hatred. We see every day, and read about it. The worldly conscience hates righteousness. It hates goodness, and uprightness because darkness hates light. And darkness will fight to keep its darkness supreme on the earth.
And to think about it, why would you want to deal with that as a Christian? I know we think that. Why not just keep your mouth shut and hide? Be invisible. Many in the church are.
We deal with it because we should want people to be free like us. We need Jesus and we know others do too. He is life and life more abundantly and we have experienced it. Jesus Disciples did, and saw it first hand, that belief drove them to follow Jesus and to go when sent out. When you have experienced the love of Christ, you are compelled to go and give out that love. Even at the cost of persecution. If you have not experienced the love of Jesus, wow! You need to go to Him, open up your heart, remove the roadblocks and let Him in.
“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and will dine with him and he with Me.”
That is an open invitation into the Beloved of Christ. He is waiting, and wants to change your whole perspective on your life, who he is, and see how he looks at others. Amen!
When Jesus was sending the Disciples out, He knew they would be rejected because people rejected Him. Look at Matthew 8:34 a whole city told Jesus to leave after He healed two demonized men.
Matthew 8:34, “ And behold, all the city came out to meet Jesus, and when they saw him, they begged him to leave their region.”
These people saw two miracles standing before them, and they still rejected Jesus. It’s been that way for the entire church history continuing through until today. We have people in the church who reject Jesus. There are people who have seen miracles, and they still reject that Jesus is who caused the miracles because they believe in man’s teachings other than the Word of God!
Jesus and His message have been rejected by the world because people love their sin more than eternal life in the future, or a life of more abundance now. They are unaware. The abundance we have as believers isn’t about more power and money. That some think to believe. Abundance is living in the fullness of God’s grace in Jesus Christ.
We as Jesus’ disciples must realize that angry hurt people reject Jesus more than they reject us, but hate is hate, and anger is anger, and that is a curse, and that spirit is all over the earth.
We must realize that it is the spirit in the people, and not them.
Jesus did not send His own out unaware. He prepared us to be ready. That's why he said:
Mat 10:16, “Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be wise as serpents and innocent as doves.”
Wisdom is received from the Holy Spirit. He guides us in all truth and will give us what to say during any confrontation as we live out our life for Christ. Jesus said in:
Matthew 10:19, “……do not be anxious how you are to speak or what you are to say, 20 For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.”
That's a given to those who listen to the voice of the Spirit, and will be bold to open up their mouths when the Spirit imparts that wisdom.
Jesus is looking for people who will not hide away from their purpose. Our purpose while we breathe is to be those who give life. It does not matter what age, what background, and the thought of our intelligence, or by any of man’s standards to keep us from the purposes we have been called to in Christ.
And from Jesus’ perspective with His own twelve, He had them watch and listen so they would learn, then go, and do.
And in Matthew 10:26-33, don’t have any fear when you do it. That goes back to my earlier statement that people may fear because what they may encounter. Jesus, was like “don’t worry about that.”
Mat 10:26, “So have no fear of them, for nothing is covered that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.”
Mat 10:32, “ So everyone who acknowledges me before men, I also will acknowledge before my Father who is in heaven, 33 but whoever denies me before men, I also will deny before my Father who is in heaven.”
Jesus was basically saying; I have your back. Just follow me, I will tell you what to do, you speak of me and I will exalt you, and those who reject you are rejecting me, I will reject them and they will pay the penalty for that rejection. Oh yes, there is a penalty. And it ain’t pretty.
And continuing in verse 34, Jesus tells His Disciples that it will not be a bed of roses when the Kingdom is preached and expressed.
34 "Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. 35 For I have come to turn" 'a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—36 a man's enemies will be the members of his own household.”
There would be extreme spiritual warfare. We know that, we have experienced that. There is conflict, and has been conflict since the fall of man. But when Jesus showed up, He body slammed Satan. It was like, “Lay down bro, you’re done.”
Jesus in John 16:33, “Take heart! I have overcome the world.”
And Jesus said in Revelation 1:18, “I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and hell.”
So our Jesus who has the power of life and death, who has given power to His disciples, His followers, US! We stand with Him and confront darkness, and that confrontation will take peace from the earth. But it is funny, because it is our peace in Christ that causes the confrontation.
When you walk in the truth that the Gospel brings, you walk in peace because of the power of the grace of God. No more rejection, no more regrets, our sins are forgiven, we receive unconditional love, we are offered healing in our minds and bodies, and the list goes on, but because of our freedom, darkness hates it. Because in darkness is jealousy, and regret, anger, sickness, lies, emptiness, and death.
Because the grace of God comes from the Spirit of God, and followers of Christ are filled with that one life giving Spirit, but those who do not know God or have experienced His grace, are filled or tormented by every evil spirit that has come from out of Satan’s rebellion. Those poor people. Well many of us used to be those people. Thank You Jesus for setting us free! Amen!
That's why there is no peace when we show up initially, because of rebellion from the Spirit of pride.
That's why the humble will see God, and prideful will not. Grace cannot be experienced through pride. Grace is experienced in humility.
Matthew 10:39, “Whoever finds their life will lose it, and whoever loses their life for my sake will find it.”
If we walk in humility through the grace of God, it will cause conflict in the Spirit, but the Spirit overcomes, and the peace that passes all understanding will flow from us, and even before we speak the Gospel, the Gospel is preached with our lives, then we who have lost our earthly lives to Jesus, and now walk in His life, a heavenly supernatural life of love that casts out darkness, it opens the door for life to be spoken and revealed. The good news, glad tidings of joy and fully expressible glory that comes from a God in Heaven who loves us all.
Yes, as in Jesus day, there will be rejection, people will hate us because of Jesus, but we must continue in the struggle to profess Christ with our lives because in the rejection will come opportunity, and that opportunity God Himself makes if we want it. We can continue to hide. But so much glory is lost. You can be safe, but it will be a regret.
If you pray to meet someone to speak the Gospel to, our God will make that happen. Because many do not ask who should, and there are many people out there waiting, and God is just waiting on us to get over ourselves, and be the open door to lead someone in to meet Him, and have their lives totally changed.
What are we waiting for? Jesus said to go, I commission you, and empower you. Go!