Matthew 28:16–20 (ESV)
The Great Commission
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.”
The Great Commission is not the Great Suggestion, but it is a command from Christ to go out and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them. Now,
to throw a wrench into the gear cogs… who was the Great Commission given too? We see the answer in verse 16: “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee.” We need to keep in mind that the Great Commission is given to the 11 disciples,
not to all the followers. This is under much Theological debate. I straddle this debate by acknowledging that it was given to the eleven disciples, but we are all (believer’s) called to witness. There is a difference between the “priesthood
of all believers” and pastors. Jesus is speaking to the eleven disciples (Judas is dead) about their mission. The mission is for the church. They are the leaders of the Church and the Great Commission will be carried out through the
Church. It is apostles and pastors who baptize and teach (making disciples). This authority is passed down through the church to Pastors through their ordination and call. We are to train all the believers to be part of the priesthood of
all believers and to proclaim the Good News to the world. So… I see this as directed to the apostles, and the church is to carry this mission out. Believers are all part of the priesthood, but not all believers are pastors.
I pray: O Lord, help me to do my part to carry out the Great Commission. Help me to share Jesus to others and bring them into the Church to receive
your Word and Sacraments. Amen.