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The Great Co-Mission (5 of 5)
Series: A Great Commission Church
Bible students call this passage the Great Commission. Several factors about it merit that distinction.
It is great because of who said it. These are the words of Jesus. Most of us here would consider anything Jesus said to be significant. We believe that his words lead to eternal life.
But even a person who hasn't yet become a follower of Jesus has to admit that he is one of the most influential voices in all of history. As James Allen Francis put it, "all the armies that ever marched, all the navies that were ever built; all the parliaments that ever sat and all the kings that ever reigned, put together, have not affected the life of man upon this earth as powerfully as has that one solitary life." (Dr James Allan Francis in "The Real Jesus and Other Sermons" © 1926 by the Judson Press of Philadelphia (pp 123-124 titled "Arise Sir Knight!").
These particular words of Jesus are also great because of when he said them. These are Jesus' last words to his disciples. Last words are important words. If we knew we were saying our last good bye to our friends, we would choose our words carefully. We would pay particular attention to the parting words of someone we care about.
But most importantly, the Great Commission is great because of what Jesus says. It is altogether possible to read this passage and miss the big picture. Some read these words and only hear a command or obligation. That's certainly there. But Jesus' final words also contain an invitation. The Lord of Glory invites any that follow him to a great opportunity. "Come join me," he calls, "in the great task of changing the world one person at a time." He offers us the privilege of joining him in the harvest.
Let's watch together a modern-day parable that catches the spirit of this invitation to the great co-mission.
(Venture Media (1987). ... ab ...
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