My answer is simply no.

Shocked? Probably… like I was when I faced this biblical reality the first time.

We do know about the ten commandments though. The bible speaks about commandments, not about commission or even mission.

“Then one of the scribes came, and having heard them reasoning together, perceiving that He had answered them well, asked Him, “Which is the first commandment of all?” Jesus answered him, “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Here is what is usually called the Great Commission:

“Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "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 of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.

Matt. 28:16-20

Men have organized the Bible to help us find what we are looking for and need. They gave the famous passage at the end of Matthew 28 the title "The Great Commission". While I understand their motivation and the headlines can definitely be helpful, I believe that setting such headlines can interfere and twist the revelational content of these verses.

Where, then, is the problem?

If not a problem, then at least two core issues:

(1) The headline is doing something to the passage which might not have been intended by the Great Author, God.

(2) The audience of Jesus in this situation determines to whom these words were actually spoken as they are the ‘horizontal’ translation of the ‘vertical’ declaration He made to His Father.

The second issue is the most important though and clarity about it will surely settle the first.

So the question is: Who were to people whom He sent into the nations with the words "Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations"?

The simple answer is: Them!

It means: Neither you nor me, but them. It is there, black on white: "And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying..."

I was not there, neither were you.

In this situation He did commissioned them and sent them, something He had talked with His Father about:

“I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world.” John 17,14-18

So let’s define who they were so we know who He is talking to and commissioning.

1) Walk with Him and be intensively trained

The them in His words “And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me…”  are the people who had followed Him during the few years of deep Kingdom-investment. The ones He met and spoke to on this mountain in Galilee started to walk with Him three years previously, when He called them with these two powerful words: "Follow me!" And they followed Him all the way. Actually they had even turned down every opportunity to disconnect, a situation which might have happened numerous times. We know about one specific when many left Him. But not them

In order for you to receive the call you must be like them. Do you walk with Him, or do you just love Him, worship Him, attend the Church but follow yourself, your plans and ideas? Are you getting trained in the House? Or are you just attending meetings, raise your hands when expected, tithing and loving everybody? And are you consistent in the training-journey, are you conversing with those who train you?

If you are not, this commission is not for you. Why should He send you to disciple the nations or anything else if you don’w walk with Him and are not trained properly for the assignment?

If we don't follow Him, who then do we follow? If we don't walk with Him, with whom do we walk? If there is no "walk", there is no substance in our talking. Because, why invest in people who are unstable, unsettled? Why reveal mysteries to those who don't understand their value and have not built any foundation? Why equip them with powerful tools if selfish ambitions rule? Why teach and train if it doesn't form patterns? Why expect change and sharpening if they are reluctant to pain? Why call them and create sorrow and regrets? Why send them into the nations if they don't follow Him and walk with Him in everything He had prepared for them in the nations? Why should others in the nations follow them and walk with them if they don't follow Him and walk with Him?

The ones who followed Him were on the mountain in Galilee: "Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them." Yes, they were the "them" to whom He spoke these commissioning words full of hope, victory, joy and empowerment.

To those who don't walk with Him and follow Him there is no call to the nations. His call to them is: Stay home and begin to follow me in your everyday life. Your life is your nation. 

2) Follow the instructions

They were on the mountain, they had arrived before Him and waited for Him. And He came and they saw Him. Again, I ask myself the disturbing question: Why should He send anybody to the nations and make disciples of the nations if they walk with Him but don't follow His instructions?

People who don't show up in church, people who worship when they feel like it, people who tithe if they can afford it and if it is a "good" month...they might never pick up the phone and invite somebody from the church to their home, yet they expect the pastor and others to look after them. They want to be the recipients of care while others follow the instructions.

If God sends people like that into the nations, they will follow their ego-agendas. Or they will follow people’s expectations, not God. They will select opportunities based on how much they personally benefit from them. They will implement their human ideas. God has no desire or need to send them anywhere. Why should He? To make disciples of all nations? They are not disciples themselves. How can they make others if they are not made themselves? Jesus said: "Follow me, and I will make you..." If we are not made, we cannot make others. How are we made? Follow His instructions and worship Him! In a life of wholehearted and daily worship the Spirit will be present and strong and will bring revelation and insight. As it takes place, follow.

3) See Him, and worship Him

The disturbing question: Why should He empower people and send them to make disciples of all the nations if they are not worshippers? And: How much does it take to have you worship Him? Do you need a band, a worship-leader, do you need others to do it together with you?

We read: "When they saw Him, they worshipped Him."

It means that they had no need for anybody to lead them. The Spirit inside their hearts led them, their love for Him - not for music - led them. Honor for Him and His Word and work motivated them. No gimmicks, no multi-media show, no warming up. They saw and that's it. Two questions: Do you see Him? How much, how often, how deep, how long? When you see Him, do you worship Him? If you really saw Him, you would undoubtedly worship Him… or run away.

Philip DuPont (June 2021)

NB: For more read the manual ‘Legacy, Sons and Daughters’ in the BRAND SERIES

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