In this lesson, we'll explore the debate surrounding whether or not Jesus gave us a command to 'Go!' in Matthew 28:19. The disagreement revolves around the translation of the Greek participle Πορευθέντες (poreuthentes), which is usually rendered into English as 'go.'
The primary question is whether we should interpret 'go' as an imperative. If so, how much emphasis should we place on it, considering that "make disciples" serves as the main verb and imperative in the verse?
Over the years, as missions have gained increasing importance in Western Christian practice, more and more emphasis has been placed on the 'Go' aspect. This has led to many sermon series preached each year, explaining that the Great Commission is to "Go!"
To determine how we should interpret Matthew 28:19, we will examine the other six instances where this participle is used throughout the Gospel of Matthew. We'll discover that while the English word 'go' is a suitable translation, we generally don't emphasize the act of going. Instead, we read those verses with the appropriate emphasis on the imperative.
A significant aspect of our Christian journey is based on how we conceptualize the Great Commandment. Is it a directive to 'go' and redirect our focus globally, or is it a command to 'make disciples'? Making disciples entails starting with ourselves and helping people from all nations progress along the lifelong path of becoming more like Jesus.
By understanding the various uses of this participle within Matthew's Gospel, we will gain profound insights into how it shapes our understanding of the Great Commission.
Welcome to our series on the Great Commission – or should we say, "The Great Omission?" Join us as we explore a fresh perspective on Matthew 28:19-20, a passage that has shaped the mindset and mission of many Christians.
Is it possible that we've been misreading this important scripture? Could scholars like Dallas Willard be onto something when they suggest calling it "The Great Omission" instead?
In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus doesn't necessarily command us to go; He calls for making disciples. It's a subtle but significant difference, and it's where the challenge lies.
In many churches, mission work often centers on the idea of going to various places to spread the Gospel. While this is undoubtedly important, sometimes the emphasis on "go" overshadows the vital aspect of "making disciples."
We're here to explore this unintended omission in our approach to the Great Commission. We'll challenge traditional interpretations, reexamine the text, and consider the positive impact a renewed understanding could have on Christianity and the world.
Join us as we uncover the heart of the Great Commission and discover how we can live it out in a way that aligns with both the spirit and the letter of Jesus' command.
Scott Broberg - I have a Masters of Divinity (MDiv) from Bethel Seminary - San Diego - Biblical Studies with and emphasis on the Old Testament.
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- Flavius Josephus.org
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