• All Authority in Heaven and on Earth Article by Roland Barnes

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    Who has the authority to command others? What gives someone the right to command someone else? This question can be raised with respect to every area of life: family life (parents), church life (pastors, elders), civil life (governors, rulers, and so forth). Who authorizes parents, pastors, elders, and governors to rule in their respective spheres? It is noteworthy that before Jesus commissioned His disciples in Matthew 28:18–20, He asserted His authority to do so. Having accomplished the work of redemption, He anticipated His ascension and coronation, that point at which He was to be seated at the right hand of … View Resource

  • Baptizing Them Article by J.V. Fesko

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    I think that when people look at baptism, they have a thin understanding as to why Jesus commanded that we baptize His disciples. Most people likely associate the water with cleansing, which is an accurate connection given the prophet Ezekiel’s message that God would sprinkle water upon His people (Ezek. 36:25). Cleansing from sin, however, is but one element in the meaning and significance of baptism. Rather than being focused upon the individual, God uses water in connection with the broader context of redemptive history. All throughout Scripture, water and Spirit appear in contexts that unfold new creation imagery. The … View Resource

  • Boots on the Ground Article by Samuel Larsen

    FROM TABLETALK | February 2015 | Matthew 28

    In the West, globalization has attracted much attention. One result of globalization has been the movement of ethnicities across national boundaries, bringing great opportunities to reach people groups in our own backyards. Ministries among international students and growing immigrant populations in our cities, and outreach in our workplaces, sporting activities, and community associations all offer opportunities to present Christ to a world that is literally coming to us. But reaching people groups in diaspora, essential as it is, has historically not of itself resulted in claiming their homelands and the majority of their people groups for Christ. That outcome still … View Resource

  • The Great Ordinary Commission Article by Burk Parsons

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    When I teach on the Great Commission, I often begin by asking my students, “What is Jesus’ primary emphasis in the Great Commission?” Typically, most students reply, “evangelism.” I then ask them to read the Great Commission from Matthew 28:18–20, after which I ask my question a second time. The students quickly see that although the Great Commission includes a call to evangelism, it doesn’t actually contain the word evangelism. What the students observe through more careful study of the Great Commission is that Jesus’ primary emphasis is on making disciples. Making disciples certainly includes evangelism but is by … View Resource

  • How Then Shall We “Go”? Article by Karl Dahlfred

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    It seems like such a simple command. “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19). But who exactly is supposed to go? Some have claimed that Jesus’ command to go and make disciples was only for the original Apostles and that the Great Commission was subsequently fulfilled by those Apostles. But such an enormous task would have been impossible for just eleven men to complete. And Jesus’ promise to be with them “to the end of the age” implies that the validity of this commission would extend beyond the Apostles’ lifetimes. If that’s so, the church has inherited … View Resource

  • I Am with You Always Article by Gerrit Scott Dawson

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    What a wonderful way to conclude a gospel. The story of the God who came from heaven to earth wraps up with the assurance, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age” (Matt. 28:20). Though Jesus was about to ascend, Matthew wants us to hear that the nearness of Christ’s incarnation continues. He who is Immanuel, God with us, promises to live up to His name. Jesus would soon return to heaven while His disciples went out into the world in gospel mission. But they were not going their separate ways. Jesus and His brothers … View Resource

  • A Lingering Obligation Article by Tom Ascol

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2008 | Matthew 28

    In 1792 a little-known shoe cobbler published a book in which he argued that the Great Commission remains a duty for every generation of Christians. Within two years the author, William Carey, left his native England and became a missionary to India. Today he is widely regarded as the father of modern missions. Carey’s An Enquiry into the Obligations of Christians to use Means for the Conversion of the Heathens is one of the most pivotal writings in the history of world evangelization. The first section of this brief work focuses on Jesus’ words in Matthew 28:18–20: “All authority in heaven … View Resource

  • Make Disciples Article by Dave Eby

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    When I started seminary in 1967, Jesus’ command in Matthew 28:18–20 to “make disciples” baffled me. There was something cryptic and mysterious about it, seemingly understood by only an initiated few. At the same time, Jesus’ words demanded comprehension and performance, and this started a pilgrimage of seeking to understand and practice “making disciples.” After thirty-four years of pastoring in the United States and now after seven years as a seminary teacher in Uganda, I am still learning. Let’s look together at three simple questions: (1) What is a disciple? (2) How are disciples made? (3) What kinds of disciple-making … View Resource

  • The Ordinary Christian Pastor Article by Erik Raymond

    FROM TABLETALK | August 2014 | Matthew 28

    When you read the word ordinary, what do you think of? Common synonyms include unimpressive, typical, normal, and common. As soon as you attach these synonyms to a noun, you will draw conclusions: My day was typical. The movie was unimpressive. The show was average. When we think about pastoral ministry we are tempted to do the same thing: My pastor is unimpressive; rather average actually, nothing special—he does not speak at conferences and has not written any books. He is just—well, ordinary. Here is the reality: an ordinary pastor is not likely to be esteemed … View Resource

  • The Prevailing Church (Pt. 1) Article by Simon Kistemaker

    FROM TABLETALK | December 2008 | Matthew 28

    The word church is fundamentally a Christian word and belongs exclusively to Christianity. Although other religions have terms such as synagogue and mosque, only Christians legitimately call their house of worship “church.” There are churches that are named after places and people, but they can never claim origin or ownership, because Christ owns the church. Actually, Jesus told Simon Peter: “You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church” (Matt. 16:18; see also 18:17). The Greek word for church is ekklesia, which means being called out of this world of humanity to form a body … View Resource

  • Teaching Them to Observe Article by Victor Cruz

    FROM TABLETALK | April 2014 | Matthew 28

    Being an evangelist is more than just telling people about Jesus; it requires that we become teachers of the gospel. The gospel is proclaimed by the preaching of the good news. This is the beginning. But we also need to explain to new believers the implications and consequences of believing in the gospel. This is necessary to make real disciples. The Authority to Teach R.T. France notes that when Jesus said to His disciples that they would have to teach, He was transferring to them the authority to be teachers. In 28:20, Matthew uses for the first time the verb … View Resource