MATTHEW 28:18-20: “When Jesus came near, he spoke to them. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations: Baptize them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Teach them to do everything I have commanded you. “And remember that I am always with you until the end of time.” (GW)
OBSERVATION: What is God’s ultimate purpose? What is God’s ultimate goal? As we look at the history and current events of the world, it is easy to forget God’s ultimate purpose and goal. Yet, when we read the final book of the Bible we see it both clearly stated and fulfilled!
- “I saw a new heaven and a new earth, because the first heaven and earth had disappeared, and the sea was gone. Then I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, dressed like a bride ready for her husband. I heard a loud voice from the throne say, “God lives with humans! God will make his home with them, and they will be his people. God himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There won’t be any more death. There won’t be any grief, crying, or pain, because the first things have disappeared.” (Revelation 21:1-4 GW)
God’s ultimate purpose, His ultimate goal, was to create a people for Himself to share His life and love with. This was His purpose when He created Adam and Eve, and it is still His ultimate purpose and goal today. Man’s sin separated man from this divine purpose. Jesus Christ came to pay the penalty for man’s sin, defeat the power the devil held over man through sin and death, and restore man to God’s ultimate purpose and goal. In Psalms 8 we have both a glimpse of this purpose that was entrusted to the first Adam, and was ultimately fulfilled by the second Adam – Jesus Christ our Lord.
- “When I look at your heavens, the creation of your fingers, the moon and the stars that you have set in place— what is a mortal that you remember him or the Son of Man that you take care of him? You have made him a little lower than yourself. You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him rule what your hands created. You have put everything under his control: all the sheep and cattle, the wild animals, the birds, the fish, whatever swims in the currents of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name throughout the earth!” (Psalms 8:3-9 GW)
Matthew 28:18-20 has become known as the “Great Commission”. It is not a new call, it is the original call of God to man. In essence it is the same call God gave to Adam and Eve in the garden before they fumbled the call through their sin.
- “So God created humans in his image. In the image of God he created them. He created them male and female. God blessed them and said, “Be fertile, increase in number, fill the earth, and be its master. Rule the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, and all the animals that crawl on the earth.” (Genesis 1:27-28 GW)
Jesus renews this call to His disciples, and to the Church. He calls us anew to be fruitful and multiply. He calls us to walk in His authority and exercise dominion over all the power of the enemy. He calls us to make disciples, to baptize them, and to teach them all that He has commanded us. And He calls us to continue this until – “the end”, knowing that He is always with us and that He will never leave us or forsake us. “The End” is when Jesus returns and completes God’s eternal purpose for man and makes “…all things new”!
As I think upon these things I am compelled to ask the question – “How does my life align with God’s ultimate purpose and goal?” The call of the Great Commission is not a call to an “activity”. Rather, it is a call to a way of life.
In the verses above Jesus commands us – “…So wherever you go, make disciples of all nations…” Sharing the Good News of the love of God through Jesus Christ should become as natural and as necessary as the air I breathe. It should become my ultimate purpose and goal. This call was not given to pastors or evangelists, but to all of Jesus disciples. The call of the Spirit is – “…be fruitful and multiply…” Lord, help me to fulfill this call in the love, wisdom, and power of the Holy Spirit, and in the authority of Jesus Christ!
In Jesus Name!