The Great Commissions (Mt. 28:18-20; Mk. 16; Lk. 24; and John 21)

Date: 2/24/2019
More audio from All Saints Church
Type: Sunday Sermon
Organization: All Saints
Price: FREE

For The Refuge Church (Rancho Cucamonga, CA) - Matthew 28:18–20 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”?

Some view this text to mean that our Lord commands the mere discipling of “individuals from all nations, not the national entities” (says one Reformed Baptist). However, 1) the grammar of this command from the Greek text (mathãteusate panta ta ethnã baptizontes autous) should simply be translated, “Disciple all the nations [and] baptize them (nations).”  The OT predicts that the Covenant to Abraham would transform the world - “All the ends of the earth may fear Him (Psa. 67:7); “All nations serve him” (Psa. 72:11); “All the ends of the earth will remember and turn to the LORD, and all the families of the nations will worship before Thee” (Psa. 22:7). “And to Him was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed” (Dan. 7:14). All of this is rooted firmly in the Abrahamic Covenant which was to restore the world into the righteous rule of a Man (Adam - Second Adam). “And I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse. And in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen. 12:3). “In your descendants shall all the families of the earth be blessed” (Gen. 28:14).

Great Commissions: Mark 16:15–18 - And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16 “He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. Luke 24:46–49 - “Thus it is written, that the Christ would suffer and rise again from the dead the third day, 47 and that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem. 48 “You are witnesses of these things. 49 “And behold, I am sending forth the promise of My Father upon you; but you are to stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Jn. 21:8 But the other disciples came in the little boat, for they were not far from the land, but about one hundred yards away, dragging the net full of fish. 9 So when they got out on the land, they *saw a charcoal fire already laid and fish placed on it, and bread. 10 Jesus *said to them, “Bring some of the fish which you have now caught.” 11 Simon Peter went up and drew the net to land, full of large fish, a hundred and fifty-three; and although there were so many, the net was not torn.

John's Great Commission - St. Augustine saw the symbolism of 153 as the triangular of 17. St. Jerome (4th century) claimed that Greek zoologists listed 153 different kinds of fish. The number 17 is associated with Joseph ruling over the Egyptian Gentiles: he was 17 when he was sold into Egyptian slavery (Gen. 37:2) and Jacob/house lived in Egypt for 17 years (Gen. 47:28). Acts lists 17 nations present for Pentecost (Acts 2:7-11). Hence, 17 is the number associated with the sea of Gentile nations. John is alluding to Ez. 47:9ff - "“And it will come about that fishermen will stand beside it; from En-Gedi to En-Eglaim there will be a place for spreading of nets. Their fish will be according to their kinds, like the fish of the Great [Mediterranean] Sea, very many.” "En" means “spring” and the numerical/gematria values of these terms are: Gedi = 17 (? = 3; ? = 4; ? = 10) Eglaim = 153 (? = 70; ? = 3; ? = 30; ? = 10; ? = 40) (James B. Jordan).

Jesus restores Peter to fish for men and thus lead in the Great Commission (Acts 10:1ff). So Peter is the first to take the Gospel to the Gentiles (Cornelius household, Acts 10-11).

Gregg Strawbridge Gregg Strawbridge, Ph.D., is the pastor of All Saints Church in Lancaster, PA. He became a committed follower of Jesus Christ at age 20, discipled in the context of a University Navigator Ministry. As a result of personal discipleship he went on to study at Columbia Biblical Seminary (M.A., Columbia, SC, 1990), as well as receive a Ph.D. in education and philosophy... read more