When Jesus gave us the Great Commission he said, “Go and make disciples of all the nations.” The Great Commission has become the marching
orders for the Church over the last 2,000 years.
At the end of Mark’s Gospel, Jesus told his disciples to
“Go” in another way. He said, “Go into all the world and preach the Good
News to everyone.” Two verses later
in the same paragraph he said, “These
miraculous signs will accompany those who believe.” When he uttered these words, Jesus made it
clear that the preaching of the Gospel would forever be connected with
We have the Great Commission well defined. We understand much of what Jesus was telling
his disciples in Matthew 28. In fact,
there is a significant industry within the Church relating to this aspect of
our calling. You can buy books on the subject, read doctoral dissertations on
discipleship and even attend conferences where we are told how to do the Great
Commission by some of the brightest minds in the Church. With all of this
availability on the subject of discipleship not much of what we are doing is
impacting our American culture.
What we don’t have down is the “Go” part defined by Jesus in
Mark 16 where he said, “These miraculous
signs will accompany those who believe.”
Many in the Church are comfortable with the Great Commission of Matthew
28, but get nervous with the sign, wonder and miracle aspect of our commission.
The commissioning of the Church in Mark 16 has become, even
within some historic Pentecostal and Charismatic groups, the Great
Omission. The dictionary defines an
omission as something we neglect. Miracles,
signs and wonders were used by Jesus to get the attention of his culture so he
could tell them about the Kingdom of God. Jesus did not neglect anything. He
used it all to glorify the Father.
The very thing that will get the attention of our
unbelieving culture – the supernatural – has many times been omitted from the
message we are trying to preach. We
would never actually come out and say this, but there is very little
supernatural evidence accompanying the vast majority of what we do within the
American Church. I frequently have to ask myself, “What am I doing that
requires God to show up in power?”
Our cities and our nation are waiting to experience what I
would call, “The Greater Commission.” The Greater Commission melds together the
calling Jesus gave us in Matthew 28 and in Mark 16 to become a disciple-making
people who walk in the miraculous power of Christ before the cultures of our
world. There is not a culture on earth
that can withstand the powerful combination found in The Greater Commission.