In this season of graduations, one might call the Great Commission found in the closing verses of Matthew’s Gospel Jesus’ commencement speech. This marks the transition from being in the posture of learning to that of being sent out into the world. As Clement of Rome described near the close of the first century AD: “Having therefore received their orders and being fully assured by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and full faith in the word of God, they went forth with the firm assurance that the Holy Spirit gives, preaching the good news that the kingdom of God was about to come.” Our message, Sent!, will come from Matthew 28:16-20.
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Matthew 28:16-20 (NRSV)
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore 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 that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”