If you don’t like the phrase “The Great Commission,” then you’ve probably got some discipleship chip on your shoulder which needs to be worked out. For now, call it what you like, but the issue of delegation remains. When Jesus said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18), it’s as if he was setting up the 11 disciples for what was coming next. The “therefore” preceding the great commission establishes a relationship between the authority/ power that Jesus now had, and the delegation of that authority/power to those disciples to make more disciples.
The Greek word for authority/power in Matthew 28:18 is “eksousía” Properly it means; authority, conferred power, delegated empowerment (“authorization”), or operating with designated jurisdiction. So, not only with authority did Jesus commission the disciples, but they continued to operate under that authority and transmitted power.
John Huss said, “Nobody holds the place of Christ or of Peter unless he follows his way of life, since there is no other discipleship that is more appropriate nor is there another way to receive delegated power from God.”*
From Huss’ quote, it seems to be clear that discipleship, or the Making of Disciples, was accepted as the norm for individuals outside of the Church’s institutional jurisdiction. There is an inescapable and trans-generational logical loop in the Great Commission whereby it applies to every believer. The most natural interpretation of Matthew 28:19,20 would seem to indicate that all believers are commissioned (delegated) and empowered to Make Disciples. Doesn’t it? A few questions:
1. As a believer, are you personally delegated by Christ to Make Disciples?
2. If you’re not Making Disciples, can it be assumed that the cause is disobedience lack of power?
3. Would you say that you have the same authority/power as the original 11 disciples that were commissioned?
*Condemned articles of the Heretic Jan Hus by the Council of Constance.