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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you.” vss. 19-20aMatthew 28:18-20
The gospel of Matthew concludes with what has come to be known as the Great Commission, and these few mountain-top words have pretty much defined the Church’s understanding of its mission from the beginning. While the early disciples likely did not have a global strategy, there is no doubt that they were driven by the Spirit to bring the good news of Jesus to as many places as they could. And they didn’t worry about doctrines or creeds or erecting buildings. They had a two-pronged ministry–baptizing and teaching, and the Holy Spirit took it from there. They likely hadn’t developed a common ritual for baptism and probably didn’t worry about the distinction between immersion and sprinkling–all they needed was water and the Word. And their teaching couldn’t have been too complicated either–like Paul, they pointed to the forgiveness of the Cross and God’s unconditional love. Of course there was opposition, and religious folks were quick to distort and manipulate the message for their own purposes, but there was momentum to that early mission–and in many places that evangelistic spirit is still alive and well. Jesus kept his promise–and he’ll be with us to the very end.
Thought for the Day: Where have I encountered an evangelistic spirit?