Let Us Make His Last Command, our FIRST PRIORITY!
Christ’s Final Sermon, Luke 24:44-47
Scripture records that these were some of Christ’s final words. In fact, it appears that this was the last teaching that He gave to His disciples. He is preparing to leave earth and though He will not leave us as orphans, for the Father will send the Holy Spirit in His name… He is going to physically leave earth and ascend to heaven. Therefore, we CANNOT treat these words cavalierly; we MUST listen to them very carefully. When our Savior speaks final words our whole world should stop and we should listen with rapt attention.
45 Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, 46 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, 47 and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in His name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
You see, He opened up their minds that they might understand the Scriptures.
This final sermon involved two major themes:
- The Resurrection
- The Great Commission
The scriptures tell us of THE RESURRECTION~ that Christ must suffer, die and on the third day rise from the dead – He must fulfill what was written.
My friends, if this be true…everything changes, absolutely everything. If He did not rise, Christianity is a sham. But He has risen and this validates the Word of God and if the resurrection is true… then the Great Commission is of the utmost importance!
The scripture goes on to tell us of THE GREAT COMMISSION~ that repentance and forgiveness of sins must be preached in His name to ALL nations, beginning in Jerusalem. The Great Commission mandate, to make disciples of all the nations, is the marching order of Christ to His church.
Vs. 47 He opened up their minds and from the SCRIPTURES He taught them that repentance and remission of sins must be preached in His Name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem…
It Reads …”All the Nations” –
It is so important that we understand what the Great Commission is and what its fulfillment requires. All the nations in the original Greek is “panta ta ethane”. These are NOT geo-political states like Argentina, China, Germany, Turkey…
“Nations” ARE ethnic groupings… people groups, with distinct languages and cultures that make it hard for the Gospel to spread naturally from one people group to another. “Nations” are people groups like the Berber, the Pathan, the Dinka, the Navajo, the Fulani, the Keckhe, the Moa Che Shing, the Za Za, the Loba, the Dongxiang, the JumJum, the Choco…the Tarahumara…
According to Jesus, the Great Commission task of the Church is not only to win and disciple individuals, but to reach ALL the different people groups in the world. It is to see viable, reproducing churches planted among all nations, all tribes, and all tongues. According to Jesus, our Great Commission goal is NOT primarily to try and keep up with, or gain the population growth rate (as awesome as that would be) but rather to make steady headway in reaching more “nations”… more people groups.
Now, where do you think He went to in the Bible to give them this Great Commission teaching? To teach them that the Gospel must be preached to all nations? The Gospels… the Epistles? Of course not.
In verse 44 , He took them to the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms. HE TOOK THEM TO THE OLD TESTAMENT!
You see…God’s missionary heart, that beats for the nations, didn’t just suddenly appear in the New Testament, it is woven throughout the Old Testament!
Here’s the point:
- The Great Commission is unmistakably enunciated throughout the Old Testament.
- The Great Commission saturates the New Testament.
- Moreover, our Savior’s final teaching was Great Commission.
So, if we love God’s Word and if we love God’s fame… if we are committed to magnifying His Name above all things — then we cannot, we must not be indifferent to world missions. Make no mistake – God IS a Missionary God.
Have you ever prayed, “God make me more like You?” Well, this means that if we are followers of Christ:
- The Great Commission should be pronounced in our prayer life… it should not be peripheral.
- The Great Commission should be pronounced in our schedule… it should not be peripheral.
- The Great Commission should be pronounced in our family… it should not be peripheral.
- And perhaps our check book should read like a love letter to Jesus.
Oswald Chambers once said, “The special person called to do missionary work is every person who is a member of the church of Christ. The call does NOT come to a chosen few; it is to every one of us.”
He is risen, thus the Great Commission is of the utmost importance. Let us make His last command, our FIRST PRIORITY.
President and Missions Coach
Sixteen:Fifteen exists to help local churches discover and use their unique gifts in partnership with others to make Christ known among all nations. Find out more at www.1615.org or call to talk to a Church Coach at 505-248-1615, or email us. Sixteen:Fifteen’s “REDUCe” is a free one-day conference led by missions and church leaders that unpacks these five keys for church leaders. Learn more HERE.