Matthew 28:16-20 Make Disciples of All

Matthew 28:16-20      Make Disciples of All                                    WC McCarter



In ancient times, men who were chosen to have great authority in a king or queen’s house were often made eunuchs, that is they were castrated. One of these men, who had become the highest treasury official for the queen of Ethiopia, once traveled to Jerusalem to worship. Apparently he had become a Jewish proselyte and made a pilgrimage to worship at the Temple. On his way back to Ethiopia, the man read Isaiah’s fourth servant song, Isaiah chapter fifty-three. The Holy Spirit moved Philip to go to the man and to speak to him about the Scripture. He proclaimed the message of Jesus to the Ethiopian from that text. Because of what Philip told him in a chariot out on the road in the middle of the desert, the man believed that Jesus is Savior and Lord. He believed it in his heart, confessed it with his mouth, and was baptized that day.


This is a great illustration of someone coming to the faith. One must hear the Gospel, repent of his sins, believe that what Jesus Christ has done is enough to save him, confess Him as Lord, be immersed in the waters of Christian baptism, and abide in His Word. All of this begins, and in fact does not happen, unless someone like you tells someone else the Good News of Christ Jesus. The reason that Philip declared the Gospel message is because the Lord Jesus, on the day that He ascended back to heaven, commanded that His disciples are to go out and make more disciples. We are to multiply. That is the subject of our sermon today. Our text is what has been famously called the Great Commission.


READ Scripture- This is the Word of God


They Worshiped Him vv16-17

After Jesus was raised from the dead, the Jewish leaders began passing around a false story that said that Jesus’ body had been stolen. Of course, we know that this could not have happened considering the circumstances surrounding the tomb. Jesus had been raised from the dead. Many had believed the false explanation, but the eleven chose to trust Christ, and they obeyed His command to meet Him on the mountain in Galilee. Remember, Matthew often tells us that magnificent things happen on a mountain (sermon, healed great multitudes and fed 4,000, transfiguration, and now ascension). We know that all eleven disciples were obedient in that they went to the mountain, yet the group reacts in two different ways. “Some of the disciples worship Jesus at once; some were less sure how to react” (Blomberg, 430). Their doubt was hesitancy. They did not know exactly how to respond to such miraculous and glorious events.


All Authority v18

Jesus dismisses their hesitancy with His first sentence as He appears to them on the mountain. He says, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” That should set aside any doubt. That should cause someone to fall down and worship. This is the climax of Matthew’s Gospel account. After all is said and done. After Christ has ministered by preaching, teaching, and healing and after He has been crucified for the sins of the world and resurrected – He now confirms that all authority over the whole universe is His. Only God can have this full authority and only God should be worshiped. Christ’s full divinity is put on display here. Let me tell you something, “At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” That is authority. Blessed are those who in this present life gladly and willingly bow the knee to and confess the lordship of Jesus Christ.


All the Nations v19

Because of the divine authority that the Lord Jesus maintains, He can commission His followers with the following orders. He has universal authority and His mission of redemption is universal. Therefore, He commands that His disciples “go.” They were, and we are, to go because of this authority and within this authority. An important and often forgotten part of this “commission” is the scope of the mission. The saving work of God has no limits. Maybe we often forget this part because we want to ignore it. Maybe we want to hold back because we want to box Jesus into a corner as if He is only mine or ours. No, no, no! God loves the world. Christ died for the sins of the world. That message is to go into the entire world. It is for ALL the nations without distinction. Don’t you think that the Gospel is what the raging and violent Middle East needs? Don’t you think that the Gospel is what the seemingly hopeless continent of Africa needs? Don’t you think that the Gospel is what the poor of America needs? Anything less is falling short of the glory of God. We need to help make this happen by supporting preachers, missionaries, churches, and others financially and through prayer. We also need to share the Gospel ourselves in whatever realm we find ourselves in. God gives each of us opportunities to share the Good News of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.


How do you make a disciple? First of all, you baptize them. Yet, for someone to be baptized they must first hear the Gospel message, believe it, repent of their sins, and confess the lordship of Christ. The crusades were not carried out by true Christians. We do not force someone to simply submit to being dunked in water. No, we preach Christ and Him crucified. If someone believes, then they are baptized. When Christ commands us to baptize new believers, He also means that we are to take the Gospel with us.


All Things that I have Commanded v20

Secondly, we are to teach them to observe (notice the word) ALL things that Jesus commanded. The eleven had received lots instruction and they were to then teach others to follow the Lord the same way. You and I have learned lots of things in our Christian lives that we are to share with others. We are to teach others about the Lord and the Scriptures. We are to teach them to trust and obey Christ.


Now notice that Jesus recorded words here do not end with a command, but with a promise. He promises that He will be with His followers to the end of the age, “always” or we could say “ALL the days.” God’s work and His story does not end with Christ’s death; it continues. It does not end with the resurrection; it continues. It does not end with the ascension, but continues into the future, even until the end of the age as we continue going into the world making disciples by baptizing and teaching them. And Jesus will be with us every step of the way, in each and every day.



Notice how, “‘All’ dominates vv. 18-20 and ties these verses together. . .” (Carson, 594).

            *ALL authority belongs to the Lord Jesus Christ.

            *ALL the nations must hear the Gospel.

            *ALL the things Jesus commanded are to be taught to new disciples.

            *ALL the days is the length of time Christ will be with His followers.


(1) Trust the One that has all authority. There is no one more worthy of your trust. We are about to cast votes for the man who will lead our country for the next four years. It is an important decision to make, along with all the other offices for which we will be voting. You need to think it through and pray about it, but let me tell you something. No matter who you may think is the better choice and no matter who is elected, you better not trust them with much of anything. The One you should trust is the One who has all authority in heaven and on earth.


(2) The Gospel has the power to save people from every nation, language, class, etc.

Do not let yourself limit God’s saving work because of your prejudices.


(3) The Christian life is about learning of God, who He is and what He does.

            First of all, take the time to learn (sermons, Bible classes, devotions, reading).
            Second, teach the weaker Christians and the younger ones who are around you.