Mar 16:15 And he said to them, "Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.
Mat 28:19 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,
As I read through the Gospel of Mark and come to the Great Commission, I can't help but wonder what Jesus was saying to His disciples. We here messages often from the Gospel of Mark and Matthew regarding the command by Jesus, and the first thing that we hear is... "Go!" We are told by the preacher that Jesus commands us to go. Get up and get going... Make a move toward missions here and share the Gospel as you go. And that seems partly fitting, and it is important, but is it the most important?
If we really look closely at the words Jesus spoke we might just see something else here. Something that is as important, or maybe even more important than, "Go." It is the word "proclaim." Proclaim the Gospel, the glad tidings, the great news of Jesus. Since I'm just a regular guy and have a basic understanding of words and sentences, it takes me a bit of an effort to see some of the nuances in the scriptures. I scratch my head trying to hear what God is speaking to me and once in awhile I have that "a-ha" moment. So as I studied this recently, that moment came.
The word "go" is not the imperative... The word "preach" is. Just as in Matthew 28 the word "disciple" is the imperative. So if we take the two verses and single out the imperatives from the participles we get the command to "proclaim" or "disciple." Not the command to go...
So, rather than thinking of this verse as missional (which it is as well) we realize the imperative is to make disciples. Whew! Now that I got that cleared up it makes perfect sense.
So here's my take on Mark 16:15 and Matthew 28:19...
We are commanded to make disciples of the nations. The command to make disciples can be in our neighborhood, workplace, families, or wherever we are every day. The command isn't to go, that is the means to an end. It isn't exclusive to those who go over seas as missionaries or pastors or teachers. It is for simple people like you and me. Right where you are at today you have the opportunity to fulfill the great commission. All you have to do is step out in faith and make disciples... so go!
Have a blessed day!