“We cannot separate the Great Commission to make disciples from the Great Commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves.”–Rich Nathan, Leadership Journal
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:16-20 ESV)
The Great Commission is enclosed with a declaration and a promise. The declaration: All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Our authority is not ours, but Jesus’. When we go, when we share, when we love, we do it based on the authority of Jesus Christ. Intimidation should not be a factor. Then Jesus said, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Not only do we have the promise of His power, we have the promise of His presence. Isolation should not be a factor–we are never alone.
“Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
(Matthew 22:36-40 ESV)
Love God. Love others. The Old Testament hinges on those two commands. So does the effectiveness of our witness. The Great Commission without the Great Commandment is like a marriage without love, college roommates without a relationship, a team without camaraderie. It’s empty religion.
The Great Commandment without the Great Commission is like a dating relationship with no future, a dark today with no bright tomorrow. It’s empty sentimentalism.
Lee Strobel, who at the time was an ‘adamant atheist’, upon observing the Salvation Army at work for weeks said, “Watching them express God’s grace to hurting people had started to dismantle, brick by brick, the wall surrounding my heart.”
The Gospel preached in loving action breaks down walls, penetrates hearts, and changes lives.
Preach today–not just through your words–but through your actions. Say the right thing. Do the right thing. Watch the walls come down.