Text: Matthew 28:16-20 | Listen to Message
What Your Life Is Really About
Suppose we had no record of Jesus’ last words to his disciples. Matthew 28:18-20 didn’t exist. There was no such thing as “The Great Commission.” The explicit command to “go and make disciples” had never been uttered. Would it make any difference in how we actually live? In how we ought to live?
If you discovered that Jesus never told his followers that our life’s mission was to make and mature more followers, how would your life change tomorrow? What would you stop saying and doing? Where would you stop going? What would you immediately start doing differently? How would your “why” change? What new ultimate purpose would you live for?
The truth is, even if Jesus had never explicitly commissioned us to go and make more disciples, this would still be the natural and unavoidable conclusion to his own life’s mission. You see, Jesus came to seek and save the lost (Luke 19:10), to save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21), and to give the free gifts of righteousness, grace, and eternal life (Romans 5:17). But why – or to what end? To reconcile us to the Father (2 Corinthians 5:18) and to gather worshipers (Revelation 5:6-14), so that we might know and enjoy God forever!
If we really loved and worshiped this Jesus, one might imagine we wouldn’t be able to stop talking about this Good News that he restored our friendship with God. With or without a Great Commission, we’d want to fill up heaven with worshipers who’d been rescued out of darkness and death into his marvelous light.
But we do have Jesus’ final words. We hear him saying to us, “As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you” (John 20:21). So why don’t we go and tell?
Isn’t it because we naturally default to our own short-term, earth-bound missions? Oh, we’re nowhere near as bad as we could be. That’s not the point. We’re just far too content to live decent lives with decent careers and decent reputations and decent families because that’s how we see ourselves: we’re decent people. Decent people who are content to go to heaven alone, that is.
We need to remember who Jesus says we are. We’re his ambassadors. His representatives. His witnesses. He makes his appeal to other sinners through us: “Come through the grace of Jesus and be reconciled to God! Repent and believe this Good News!”
Let’s remind one another that there is more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance (Luke 15:7). Let’s be honest enough to admit that God is not pleased with mere worship and discipleship and fellowship, but is ultimately pleased only when we invite the lost and broken to put their hope in Christ. Let’s encourage one another to stay on our Savior’s mission and fill up heaven with even greater joy!