The Last Instruction

Jesus gave the last instructions to His disciples to make disciples of their own, not limited to Jews alone, but of all nations – all races, all colors, ethnicity and culture.
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Read: Matthew 28:18-20

This is the last installment on this week’s series, “The Gospel Message”. We thank you for being with us and joining us in our daily online devotion wherever you are right now. We hope and pray that you will continue to grow more in love with Jesus Christ and live according to His will.

This week, with the help of our ship missionaries, we have talked and shared about what the Gospel is telling us or how it affects our lives as Christians. Though we have different circumstances in life and in our walk with God, one thing’s for sure is that the Gospel or Good News that Jesus Christ taught and shared in His disciples never changes. It tells us how Jesus lived in this world and how He affected and changed the lives of those who followed and believed in Him until this very moment. It tells us how He proved that He is the Son of God after He rose from the dead in three days and offering the gift of salvation and forgiveness of sins to anyone who repents and believes in Him.

So, for tonight, I would like to share with you how Jesus gave His last instruction to His disciples before He ascended to heaven. We may be more familiar if it’s called the Great Commission, so we will reflect on that passage and we will share to you how great of an impact it is and it should be in our lives.

Matthew 28:18-20 (NIV)
“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

God gave Jesus authority over heaven and earth (Matthew 28:18). On the basis of that authority, Jesus told the disciples to make more disciples as they preached, baptized and taught. With this same authority, Jesus still commands us to tell others the Good News and make them disciples for the kingdom.

When someone is dying or leaving us, his or her last words are very important. Jesus left the disciples with these last words of instruction – they were under his authority; they were able to make more disciples; they were to baptize and teach these new disciples obey Christ; Christ would be with them always. Whereas in previous missions, Jesus had sent his disciples only to the Jews (Matt. 10:5-6 "These twelve Jesus sent out with the following instructions: “Do not go among the Gentiles or enter any town of the Samaritans. Go rather to the lost sheep of Israel.”), their mission from now on will be worldwide. Jesus is Lord of the earth, and he died for the sins of people from all nations.

We are to go – whether it is next door or to another country – and make disciples. It is not an option, but a command to all who call Jesus “Lord”. As ship missionaries, that is this church’s mission. To spread the Gospel and build floating churches on the oceans. Aside from working and doing our jobs and daily routine as seafarers, we are also to be able to share the Gospel to our crewmates when opportunity arises. We are not all evangelist in the formal sense, but we have all received gifts that we can use to help fulfill the Great Commission. Through those gifts we can even share the Gospel or how Jesus changed us through our actions our how we interact with others. It can start at something small until God cultivates it to the hearts of the lost. As we understand more the Gospel and how Jesus saved us from our sins, God’s grace will have their hearts filled with love towards Jesus, accepting Him and making Him our personal Lord and Savior. As we obey, we have comfort in the knowledge that Jesus is always with us.

Jesus’ words affirm the reality of Trinity. As we see in the verse (19), the concept comes directly to Jesus Himself. He did not say baptize them in other names, but in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Trinity does not occur in the Scripture, but it well describes the three-in-one nature of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

The disciples were to baptize people because baptism unites a believer with Jesus Christ in his or her death to sin and resurrection to new life. Baptism symbolizes submission to Christ, a willingness to live in God’s way, and identification with God’s covenant people.

How is Jesus with us?

Jesus was with the disciples physically until He ascended into heaven, and then spiritually through the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4 “4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.”). The Holy Spirit would be Jesus’ presence that would never leave them (John 14:26 “26 But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.”) Advocate means helper, adviser, or counselor.

Jesus continues to be with us today through His Spirit.

The Old Testament prophecies and genealogies in the book of Matthew present Jesus’ credentials for
being the King of the world – not a military or political leader, as the disciples had originally hoped, but a spiritual King who can overcome all evil and rule in the heart of every person. If we refuse to serve the King faithfully, we are disloyal subjects, fit only to be banished from the kingdom. We must make Jesus King of our lives and worship Him as our Savior, King, and Lord.


Jesus gave the last instructions to His disciples to make disciples of their own, not limited to Jews alone, but of all nations – all races, all colors, ethnicity and culture. His Gospel is for all who is willing to receive Him and follow Him to walk in faith and entrust their lives to the living God. Just as Christ ascended into heaven, He fulfilled His promise of the gift of the Holy Spirit, to guide them in their walk as Christians. To always remind us of the Great Commission, on the command that every Christian should do to expand God’s kingdom, all to give glory and honor to our sovereign God.

Photo by: Jaime Legaspino