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Sermon12 Mt28:16-20 Guide

Mt 28:16-20, recitation verse Mt 28:18-20

The praise and honor and glory be to our heavenly Father who seeks true worshipers who worship Him with the Spirit and truth.

A public opinion research agency asked grandfathers aged 65 and above, "If you could choose only one thing to say to your grandson, what would it be?" Surprisingly, more than 60% of the grandfathers chose the words "Love others," and the next most chosen phrase was "Be honest." In this harsh world where selfishness overwhelms all values, it is remarkable that grandfathers still want to convey the message of "Love others" and "Be honest" to their grandsons. It seems that God's common grace is so great even in the midst of such circumstances, and we still have hope. In today's passage, it is mentioned that before Jesus ascended, He gave His disciples the final commission to "go and make disciples of all nations." And the new commandment that the Lord gave is "Love one another." So, let us consider what kind of love the Lord is speaking of, and I hope that we can learn from it together.

1) Today's passage is the post-resurrection encounter of Jesus with His disciples in the region of Galilee in which the Great Commission that Jesus said to His disciples, "Go and make disciples of all nations, 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" was given to His disciples. The passage for today, verses 18-20, is composed of three key elements of the Great Commission: the statement "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me," which is the foundation of Great commission, the imperative command "make disciples," and the enabler of the commission, "And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age." And this Great Commission consists of one imperative command, "make disciples," and three participle phrases - "going," "baptizing," and "teaching" - along with one infinitive phrase, "to observe." It encompasses the arrival of the Kingdom of God, the delegation of authority, and Jesus instructing His disciples to go to all nations, make disciples, baptize them, and teach them to observe His commandments, with the promise of His presence with them until the end of the age.

2) First, we would like to briefly touch upon the meaning of baptism before moving forward. Baptism is a sacrament established by Jesus Christ, where believers in Jesus as their Savior and Lord are either sprinkled with water or immersed in water. Just as we cleanse our bodies with water, when we receive baptism with water, Baptism serves as an external sign and pledge, a visible language, revealing the invisible grace to signify that our sins are washed away by the blood of Jesus Christ, and the death of our old self and the rebirth as a new self through the Holy Spirit and the Word. Moreover, through baptism, we become member of the covenantal community, as the body of Christ. Therefore, the command to baptize carries the implication of forming a covenant community.

3) Furthermore, Jesus commanded His disciples to teach and observe what He had commanded, to those who had received baptism. In essence, it can be summarized as the new commandment to love one another and the Great Commission to go and make disciples. First, new commandment to love one another does not mean to love exclusively only those who believe. While loving God and neighbors, we have to love one another. And to love one another is expressed concretely in actions such as "washing one another's feet" (John 13:14) and to "forgive us our sins, as we forgive those who sin against us," which means forgiving and accepting one another's shortcomings and mistakes, following the Lord's teaching in the Lord's Prayer. This command to "love one another" is actually inter-connected with the command to "go and make disciples of all nations." I mean, in order to live a life of loving one another, we need to build a community first, people to love, wherever we are sent. Within the command to love one another, there is also a missional calling, as it is connected to the Great Commission of making disciples of all nations.

4) Through today’s text we would like to learn few things. First, in verse 18, the phrase "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me" signifies that after Jesus' resurrection and ascension, He was seated at the right hand of God, receiving the kingship of the Kingdom of God and becoming the King and Lord who inaugurates God's Kingdom. This authority provides the foundation of the Great Commission given to the disciples. It can also be seen as the fulfillment of the prophetic word in Daniel 7:14, which states, "He was given authority, glory, and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed." However, there is a distinction between this statement and the one in Mark 3:15 when Jesus first appointed the twelve disciples, saying, "He appointed twelve that they might be with him and that he might send them out to preach and to have authority to drive out demons." While both statements are in the continuum of authority, as Matthew 12:28 says, "But if it is by the Spirit of God that I drive out demons, then the kingdom of God has come upon you," this authority is related to the Kingdom of God. So when Jesus appointed the disciples, they exercised this authority by casting out demons in the places where they were sent to receive evangelistic training. However, after Jesus ascended to the heavenly Kingdom, instead of giving this authority to the disciples, He assured them in verse 20, "Surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age." In this way, Jesus, who possesses the authority, is permanently present with the disciples, enabling them to exercise His authority. This unique method of granting authority is ultimately because Jesus continues to be present with the disciples through the Holy Spirit, maintaining fellowship with them and, as stated in Revelation 3:20, making His home within us and being the Master of our hearts so that His authority may manifest through His disciples in whom He lives. Therefore, as Galatians 2:20 says, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me," we must continuously surrender our lives to Jesus, allowing Him to be the Master of our lives and working in us with His power. Secondly, I think we need to explore more on the commandment to "go and make disciples." The meaning of this command is explained more specifically through three participial phrases in verses 19-20: "Go," "baptizing them," and "teaching them to obey." The word "go" can also be interpreted as a command along with the imperative "make disciples." The Greek word for the Church, "ἐκκλησία,”(ekklesia) means "those who are called out," and the word for apostles, ἀπόστολος” (apostolos) means "those who are sent." Therefore, the disciples were not only called out to become God's people but also sent to all nations, expressing their identity as those who are sent. So we should be zealous in proclaiming the Kingdom of God according to our identity as those who are sent. Lastly, it is important to remember that in becoming disciples and making disciples, we have to rely on the power of Jesus' presence and have intimate fellowship with Him, which is the enabler for our ministry,

Key Questions as Small Group Activity

Q1 When we look at today's passage, we see that the Lord has promised to be with us until the end of the age. Then are you aware that the Lord is with you? If so, how closely do you walk and journey with the Lord? I encourage you to reflect deeply and share your thoughts and experiences with others, so that we may share grace together.

Q2 In today's passage, we see that after going to all nations and making disciples, we are commanded by the Lord to baptize them and to teach and observe everything He has commanded, including the command to love one another and make disciples of all nations. Take a moment to consider how you are practicing and living out these commandments of the Lord, and it would be wonderful if you could share your thoughts and experiences with one another.

Love you. Thank you. God bless you.

Prayer Note

Dear ( God’s attribute which you found Today ) God!

Thanks for ( something you received through the sermon or even during the week )

Praise, gratitude and glory be to You, Lord!

Today, I realized my sin (pains) that ( the sin God reminded through the sermon ),

please forgive (or heal) me and help me not to repeat ( the sins you recognized ).

I learned that ( something you learned through the sermon )

Please help me to live in that ( learned way of life )

I pray in ( Jesus’ attribute you find ) Jesus’ name. Amen.


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