the weblog of Alan Knox

Great Commission for us?

Posted by on Apr 13, 2010 in discipleship, missional | 7 comments

Last Sunday, when we discussed the Great Commission passage from Matthew 28:18-20, I asked whether this command (“make disciples”) was only intended for the eleven apostles or if it was also intended for us and all other disciples of Jesus Christ? There were two good reasons to see this command as intended for all disciples (including us).

First, Jesus told the elven to make disciples by “teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” “All that I have commanded you” would include this command to “make disciples.” Thus, the eleven were supposed to teach their disciples to make disciples.

Second, Jesus promised that he would be with them “all the days” (or always). This promise is related to the command “make disciples.” Thus, it would seem that Jesus would intend for “making disciples” to be carried out until the end of time.

What do you think? Was the Great Commission just for the 11 apostles, for all disciples (including us), or for a subset of disciples? Why?


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  1. 4-13-2010


    Good question. I firmly believe the Great Commission was not only for the Eleven and not just because of the verses in question. Matt 28:16-20 is in many ways a climax of the book. The language of the GC flows throughout the entire gospel. I think Matt 24:14 foreshadowing the GC is a key link. But more than that, Matthew is intentionally tying the coming of the Davidic seed into the Messianic expectation of the OT. Matthew evens begins with the davidic genealogy, in good OT fashion. Furthermore, the OT definitively foreshadows the engathering of the nations through the coming messiah (texts too many to mention, but one would be Micah 4, Zech 14:16-21, etc, etc, etc, etc). I think theologically there is no other way to understand the GC. It is for the people of the Messiah!


  2. 4-13-2010

    It’s obvious that the Great Commission is for all of us, at least the making disciples part… but the baptizing and teaching parts should be left to those who have been ordained.


  3. 4-13-2010

    Where do we see in the NT that discipling, baptizing, and teaching are only for the ordained? If the discipling part is for everyone, then so is the baptizing and teaching right?

  4. 4-13-2010


    “but the baptizing and teaching parts should be left to those who have been ordained.”

    Why? Is there a Scriptural basis for ordination?

  5. 4-13-2010

    I think (based on the smiley ) that Jon was being sarcastic about baptizing and teaching… I think.


  6. 4-14-2010

    Yes Alan, I was just stirring the pot. :) Sorry Jeff and Ryan.

  7. 4-14-2010

    Jon and Alan,

    I suspected the smiley was there for that purpose… I just couldn’t resist =grin= …


    I agree with your analysis. The command “make disciples” has always intrigued me. There seems to be huge gulf between what scripture commands regarding disciples and the common practice in most evangelical churches today.