Matt. 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
The authority behind the Great Commission is that of the Lord Jesus. He has “all power in heaven and in earth.” His authority supersedes any authority on earth. He is the one who has told us, his disciples, to go and teach all nations.
This commission involves teaching. There is a specific goal of this teaching. The goal is to make disciples. Disciples follow the precepts and instructions of their leader. So we are to follow Christ’s precepts and instructions ourselves as we teach others to also follow them.
The extent of the Great Commission is to go to all nations. There may be danger involved, but it has been said that we are told to go, we are not told that we may necessarily come back. The great endeavors of Carey, Livingstone, Judson, Slessor, Elliot, and others like them were examples of those who went out. Not everyone came back. But they went to the nations.
The content of the discipleship training as we go to the nations is that we teach “all things whatsoever” Jesus commanded. Teaching all things involves relating content and also includes requiring obedience. We are to model and teach that the nations “observe” all these things. That is, we are to “attend to carefully” what Jesus has taught. Not only are we to teach and model these things, but we are also to carefully guard the teaching of Christ.
This is the Great Commission.