Jesus, The Hope of the Disciple-Maker (Matthew 28.16-20)

Nalini Jayasuriya (Sri Lankan, ?–2014), “The Great Commission,” 2002. Mixed media on canvas, 28 × 53 in. http://blog.spu.edu/lectio/missiology-in-the-new-creation/; http://omsc.org/art-at-omsc/nalini/greatcommission-slide.htm

Sermon preached at St Barnabas Church, Cambridge on September 1st 2019

16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Introduction

These are uncertain times in our household. I am about to finish my job and am currently not sure what or where my next job will be. Olga is on the hunt for a curacy which could be anywhere in the country. And on top of that, we are set to move house and so are dealing with all of the upheaval that comes with packing boxes and making our home somewhere else. 

It is with excitement, then, that I heard we were looking at stories of hope—stories both about hope and stories that give us hope—in our summer series here at St Barnabas. To state the obvious, hope is tested in uncertain, seemingly hopeless times. In this last in our series, we come to the end of Matthew’s Gospel, to a passage commonly known as the Great Commission. This is a passage about mission, about disciple-making and discipling with those meaty commands to “move out, make disciples of all nations, baptising and teaching them to obey all that I have commanded you”. 

So what has the Great Commission to do with hope?

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