I’ve always been told to never, ever begin a paper or article or anything with a definition. Former teachers, I’m sorry.
Commission: (n.) the granting of power to perform various acts or duties
I like words. I find them useful and transformative. Powerful. Jesus’s last words — The Great Commission — are pretty straightforward. If you grew up in church like me, you could probably recite them in your sleep.
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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19–20
Words lose meaning when we say them but don’t mean them, read them but don’t reflect on them, think about them but don’t act on them. Words are numbing when they’re only words. Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, spoke these words to us, giving us power not just to hear and understand, but also to sacrifice and go. I’ve wasted so much time only reading these words.
I used to believe these words were only for the few, those particularly bold or especially gifted. But I now understand that can’t be true. The power and beauty in being a Christian is that I, with all my flaws and shortcomings, am entrusted to fulfill those words. Jesus meant what He said, and He gave us power to do it in spite of all our weaknesses.
We are empowered and mandated to share the hope of Christ to every nation. As intimidating as that sounds, it’s actually happening all over the world right now. Jesus’s last words have the same meaning in every place in time.
Believe His words, because He is who He says He is. Follow His words, because He loves the whole world — every tribe, tongue and nation — not just you.
If you want to see how real His commission is, check out this article from the Joshua Project.