to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice *
October 10, 2019 – Thursday
Matthew 28:16-20 NIV
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.”
This paragraph is commonly labeled The Great Commission and concludes the gospel of Matthew. While the NIV reads in the first part of verse twenty as and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded youmany read as in the KJV Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you. Note however verses nineteen and twenty indeed go together.
The thought begins in verse nineteen with Therefore go where the disciples and we are commanded to go! We have all been given our marching orders to go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. That is the first part of the command, the second part follows immediately teach them to obey everything I have commanded you. Now we cannot all go, but we can support those that do go and we can do that individually and/or through our churches and/or other outreach/missionary programs. Still another question arises, what has Jesus commanded His disciples and us to teach?
If we are to make disciples in/of all nations (the primary command) we need to know what Jesus has commanded us. At the same time we are not to force anything on any of these nations or peoples, but we are to teach or as Peter Pett comments
The Messianic movement into the world is not to be by warfare or force of arms. That is how false religions spread. It is to be by proclamation of the truth, by the sword of the word. Men must be won by truth and love, not be forced to respond at the point of the sword of men. Only the former can produce true men of God.
So what are we to teach? We can answer this largely by looking to what Jesus said through the Gospels, especially what He said in John 13:34-35 A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another. So we teach this command by example! Of course there is more, much more starting with His Sermon on the Mount. Ellicott’s Commentary adds His words may cover much unrecorded teaching which they had heard in the darkness, and were to reproduce in light as in Matthew 10:27.
Bottom line we need to be familiar, intimately familiar, with what Jesus had to say throughout the New Testament as to how we are to live – effectively His commandments. Then we make disciples of others by the example we set for others, just as we learn from the examples of others.
(to obey is better than sacrifice / obedience is better than sacrifice)
* Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord? To obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed is better than the fat of rams. (1 Samuel 15:22)