Read for This Week’s Study: Acts 2:42-47; Acts 4:32-37; Matt. 25:38, Matt. 25:40; Acts 9:36; 2 Cor. 8:7-15; Romans 12:1-21; James 2:1-9.
Memory Text: “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world” (James 1:27, NKJV).
The verses known as the Great Commission (Matt. 28:18-20) are among the best known in the Bible, at least by Christians. The texts often have been described as our mission statement and have been the inspiration for all kinds of mission and evangelistic projects. Indeed, inspired by these texts, Christians have gone all over the world, sometimes at great personal cost, in order to spread the gospel.
And what did Jesus say in the Great Commission? To make disciples, to baptize, and to teach people “to observe all things that I have commanded you” (Matt. 28:20, NKJV). And, as we have seen, so much of what Jesus commanded us has to do with taking care of those in need, those hurting, those who are unable to take care of themselves. As such, we need to remember that these instructions to Jesus’ first disciples were not so much a new assignment, something that they hadn’t heard or seen before, but more a continuation of the mission Jesus already had been working among them. As such, this aspect of Jesus’ teaching can be clearly seen in the lives of the new church community as part of fulfilling the Great Commission.