And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. (Matthew 28:18-20)
You couldn’t have a more authoritative command from anybody, because it comes from the risen Son of God. He was on a mountain top in Galilee speaking to His eleven disciples who had gone there to meet Him. They had been told to do so by Mary Magdalen and the other Mary at the behest of the resurrected Jesus whom they met while on the way to the disciples. (Matthew 28:10)
I wonder what the disciples thought might happen when they met Jesus. Would He tell them He was about to overcome the Roman occupying forces and establish Himself as King of the Jews? Would they sit with Him in positions of power and authority in Jerusalem? (Matthew 20:20-24)
Instead, none of this happened. After commissioning them to make disciples who were to make more disciples, (Matthew 28:18-20) He lifted up His hands and blessed them. As He did so He parted from them into heaven. (Luke 24:50)
Previously He had told them they were to be witnesses to Him, and that all nations should hear the preaching of repentance and remission of sins in His name. This preaching was to start in Jerusalem and spread from there to the whole world. (Luke 24:46-48)
They still had not twigged-on to what sort of kingdom Jesus had come to establish. It was not a physical kingdom as they had assumed, but a spiritual kingdom where His followers would worship Him in spirit and truth. (John 4:24)
How would it be done? It would be done in the power of the Spirit – the Holy Spirit that He had promised His Father would send to them. (Luke 24:49; John 14:26) At Pentecost the Spirit was manifested in great power. (Acts 2:1-4) Endued with the Spirit, the disciples did many miracles, (Acts 5:14-16; 9:32) even raising people to life, (Acts 9:36-41; 20:7-12) thus demonstrating their authority in the Lord.
Sadly, many Christians do not exercise the authority they have been given. They may not even be aware of it. They cannot forgive sins, but they can tell of Jesus who is able. Only He has the authority to forgive sins, and by His authority He commands His disciples to make more disciples in His name. (Matthew 28:19) They are to teach what He taught them, and with this knowledge and by the enabling of the Holy Spirit, people will be born again. (John 3:3)
There’s a very good book on the subject of making disciples. It is called, ‘Make Disciples!’, by Frederick Serjeant. You can find it at www.amazon.co.uk . Just insert details of the author’s name and the title of the book into the search box, and you’ll find Kindle and paperback versions of the book.