Observance: Matthew 28:20

by Christopher Paré

Globalization, the internet, and ease of travel has made reaching the entire world with the Gospel in our lifetime a very possible reality; thus the great commission is one of the most referenced passages of scripture among Christians in our age.  I’ve been wrestling with the passage a lot lately, and something struck me as I’ve pondered and prayed.

Here’s the Passage:

Matthew 28:16-20

16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

 The first part of verse 20 is what struck me the most.  Making disciples, and baptizing them is something I’ve heard quite a lot about, but teaching those disciples to observe all that Jesus commanded the apostles is not something I’ve heard a lot about.  To be honest, much of the disciple making I’ve seen in Church has done little more than introduce people to Christ.  We bring young believers to the point of baptism, then turn our focus back to the lost in an effort to fulfill the great commission.  Sadly, we end up missing the point. We must be teaching Christians to observe all that Jesus taught in order to truly fulfill the great commission.

The word observe here is a translation of the greek work τηρέω.  Here’s a list of definitions from Blue Letter Bible.

1) to attend to carefully, take care of

a) to guard

b) metaph. to keep, one in the state in which he is

c) to observe

d) to reserve: to undergo something

The Gospel is deep, profound, divine, crushing, life giving, and so much more.  With that in mind, I want to start a series of blogs focusing on the commandments  of Jesus in the Gospels.  I encourage you to join me in seeking His heart, and ask Him how we may strive to observe all He has commanded us to be, say, and do.