Behind the Great Commission

We’ve been looking at how what we do, our mission, should grow out of our purpose. We should always have a good reason for why we do what we do. Once we know our purpose and mission, we need to determine how we’re going to get there — vision. We then set specific goals for accomplishing that vision.

Great Commission Purpose Mission Vision
We find a good example of this flow in what has come to be known as Jesus’ Great Commission. Often we look at this mandate merely as a mission He gave to us. However, if we analyze it, we’ll determine that it grows out of our purpose and includes a vision for how to accomplish it, requiring goals to get there.

  • As we’ll see in the next post, Jesus clearly states the mission, what we’re to do — “Go and make disciples of all nations.” And He tells us how to do it, what we might term vision — “baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
  • Specific goals aren’t included but provisions to set and accomplish goals can be found within the context — a topic for a future post.
  • Neither is the purpose provided but John 3:16 must be behind it — the topic of this post.

What’s Behind the Great Commission: The Reason Jesus Wants Disciples of All Nations

To determine why Jesus wants disciples of all nations, we must go back to John 3:16. — For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

God has taken great measures to bring rebellious, sinful people to Himself (Matt. 18:14), and patiently waits for more to turn to Him (2 Pet. 3:9). Why? — LOVE!

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. (Rom. 5:8)

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. (1 Jn. 4:9-10)

The Steering the Church Toward Discipleship Leadership Guide includes this content with a reminder of how His purpose behind the Great Commission becomes our purpose.

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