“Go and Tell” // Matthew 28:10-20
The following is a manuscript of the sermon presented by Senior Pastor Dr. Roger Patterson on Palm Sunday, April 10, 2022 at our West U Baptist Campus. To view the sermon in full, check out the link below.
Good morning. It’s a beautiful Palm Sunday together, isn’t it? Next Sunday we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus from the grave. I want to highlight a few things to you.
- Maundy Thursday Service – This Thursday night at 7 p.m. at West U Baptist.
- Egg Hunt – Saturday Morning at 9 a.m. at Crosspoint Church-Bellaire.
- Easter Services – Next Sunday at 9:30 a.m. and 11:00. – Two identical services to celebrate the Resurrection of our Lord.
Today, we come to the fourth invitation from Jesus as we prepare for Easter Sunday, and it’s the invitation to Go and Tell.
Four Invitations of Jesus
- Come and Follow
- Take and Eat
- Watch and Pray
- Go and Tell
Notice this invitation to the women who first saw the Resurrected Christ. This morning, we want to invite you to open your Scripture or Bible App on your “Smart” Device to Matthew 28.
Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee, and there they will see me.”
As I begin today, I want you to know that we are gathered here because of someone else’s obedience to this portion of Scripture today. You might not even be a person who is following Jesus Christ yet. But you are here today because someone suggested that maybe you try going to the church. Or better yet, someone invited you. We are so glad that you are here and we hope that your exposure to the church is one that makes you feel loved.
But the Good News Message began with women going to the disciples and telling them about the resurrection of Jesus from the dead.
Recently, I was reading a book by Jocko Willink and Leaf Babin called, Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy Seals Lead and Win.
In this book, Willink and Babin recount numerous missions from the Iraq War and the liberation of that country from Saddam Hussein. Along that, they recount the values that informs their decision-making and leadership principles that govern their units.
Here are a just a few from the table of contents:
- No Bad Teams, Only Bad Leaders
- Check the Ego
- Prioritize and Execute
- Decentralized Command
One of the lessons that has stood out to me the most is the radical embrace of the mission. The mission is the priority at all times. It is the mission of the unit to accomplish the mission passed down from the commanders on high. There is EXTREME OWNERSHIP of the MISSION.
You and I are here today because of someone else’s EXTREME OWNERSHIP of the MISSION of Jesus of Nazareth.
Let’s jump right into this passage and see the mission we have been given by Jesus to advance the kingdom of God.
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
This passage is called, “The Great Commission.” It is the task given by Jesus to the disciples to go out and evangelize the world and bring people from every nation, tribe and tongue the message of the good news of Jesus. It is a “commissioning…a sending.” It is “Great” because it is still to be accomplished! 2000 years later, this commission is still on-going.
And for it to be relevant and stay relevant, the followers of Jesus Christ, His Church, is to not only agree that Jesus gave this commission and that it isn’t fully complete, but for it to stay relevant and be relevant, the Church must EXERCISE EXTREME OWNERSHIP of this MISSION.
So, let’s follow this simple outline:
Extreme Ownership Requires
- A Submission to the One in Authority
- Understanding His Mission
- Joining Him in the Mission
Now, as we begin to look at this outline, I want to recognize that the use of this military language may make you feel a bit uncomfortable. It may or may not resonate with you. But let me remind you of the GRAND NARRATIVE of the Scripture.
The GRAND UPPER STORY of the Bible is God righting all wrong and bringing to us the Kingdom of God where all the nations will give honor and weight and glory to God. It’s the story of the Anointed one of God being defeating our greatest enemies, namely the kingdom of darkness and death, and ushering in a kingdom of peace, or righteousness and justice.
The GRAND NARRATIVE is one of military conquest. Let me show you this in Psalm 2.
Why do the nations rage
and the peoples plot in vain?
2 The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the Lord and against his Anointed, saying,
3 “Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”
4 He who sits in the heavens laughs;
the Lord holds them in derision.
5 Then he will speak to them in his wrath,
and terrify them in his fury, saying,
6 “As for me, I have set my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”
7 I will tell of the decree:
The Lord said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have begotten you.
8 Ask of me, and I will make the nations your heritage,
and the ends of the earth your possession.
9 You shall break them with a rod of iron
and dash them in pieces like a potter’s vessel.”
10 Now therefore, O kings, be wise;
be warned, O rulers of the earth.
11 Serve the Lord with fear,
and rejoice with trembling.
12 Kiss the Son,
lest he be angry, and you perish in the way,
for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
This Psalm shows the tension and the battle that awaits. And it offers a peace treaty in verse 12…Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way…Blessed are all who take refuge in him.
Further, in the book of Revelation, we see the Cosmic struggle between the kingdom of Satan and the Kingdom of God.
So, whether we like it or not, the Bible depicts a struggle of the nations against God and His anointed. It depicts a rebellion and a call to submission to Christ the coming King.
So, in light of the war language, let’s dig into our outline and this passage.
I. Extreme Ownership Requires…A Submission to the One in Authority
Look again at verses 16-18.
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 17 And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. 18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Now, this passage is called the Great Commission. And if we aren’t careful, we will view it as a Great Suggestion. And if we do that, we will find that it is the GREAT OMISSION in our lives and in our churches.
This is after the resurrection. It closes Matthew’s gospel and it is a service of sending…a formal ceremony of sending…that is taking place by Jesus to his disciples.
And so, he begins this sending ceremony by speaking about authority. He says, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me…”
Where else do we see this declaration that all authority in heaven and earth has been given to the Son?
Turn with me to Daniel 7. As we once again see this language of a Cosmic War unfolding, notice with me these words.
“I saw in the night visions,
and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
14 And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.
This comes in the context of Daniel’s prophecy of 4 beasts that arise and the 4th is not like the 3rd. This vision burdens him, and yet in the midst of it, is the promise that the Son of Man was being given the everlasting Kingdom and his saints would prevail with him.
When Jesus is saying to these disciples, “All authority in heaven and in earth has been given to me,” he is saying, I am the Son of Man in Daniel’s prophecy.
Further, David Garland highlights that Jesus’ authority is underscored in the previous verse by the disciples’ reaction to him. They are worshiping him and prostrating themselves before him. To prostrate oneself before another is not a normal form of greeting but a token of absolute submission that is offered only to gods or kings.
Think about this for a moment. In this moment the story comes full circle:
- The magi came to worship him as the king of the Jews, and now Jesus declares to his disciples that He is more than that—He is the supreme sovereign of the cosmos and owed unconditional obedience.
- Satan enticed Jesus and offered all the kingdoms of the world, but Jesus grasped after nothing and instead received much more through his faithful submission to the will of the Father—he received all authority in heaven and earth.  David Garland, Reading Matthew, 265-266.
On a simpler level, Jesus can only make this claim in verse 18 if he is fully God. He is one with the Heavenly Father, yet also distinct from him. And because of this authority, he has the right to issue his followers their “marching orders”—but he also has the ability to help them carry out those orders.
A Moment of Tension:
But notice something with me for a moment. Notice it says in verse 17 that some doubted.
And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted.
These men had to wrestle with what they were experiencing. When the military is sent out, they have no doubt of their marching orders. They have been trained and marched and briefed and informed. The closer they get to the mission, the more certain they become about the task before them.
I appreciate the honesty of this text. One writer wonders if there are more there than just the eleven and these were the doubters in the bunch. But I appreciate the thoughts of D.A. Carson in answering the struggle of their “doubting.” The word doesn’t mean unbelief, but instead “hesitation.” Listen to Carson’s thoughts on their hesitation.
D.A. Carson: (These) were men of despair who had seen their Messiah die, and understandingly they were hesitant before expressing full faith. “Jesus’ resurrection did not instantly transform men of little faith and faltering understanding into spiritual giants.”  D.A. Carson, Matthew 13-28, 594.
That transformation didn’t come until Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit came.
The question we need to ask ourselves is this: Why are we hesitant? What keeps us from embracing the mission?
I would argue that we fail to recognize the fullness of Jesus’ authority. And when we don’t recognize the fullness of his authority, we don’t submit to his will for our lives.
You see, we focus so much on what Jesus can do for us…joy, peace, help comfort…that we fail to grasp that we have been enlisted into an army in the midst of a cosmic battle that is competing for hearts and minds and souls.
It’s the kingdom of darkness vs. the Kingdom of Light, and we make the mistake that we are fans of Jesus and observers on the sidelines…not soldiers enlisted on the front lines.
Let’s look at our second principle today…
II. Extreme Ownership Requires…Understanding His Mission
What is the mission that Jesus gives to them and to us?
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, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.
- First, we see that we go in the authority of the one who is sending us. That’s why the word “Therefore,” is there.
I remember I used to think the Great Commission was, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations…”
But we have to recognize that Jesus is transferring authority to us to go. We are his emissaries, his ambassadors, those sent in his authority.
You see, when you see the word, “Therefore,” in Scripture, what are you to ask?
What’s that Therefore, there for?
Jesus is saying, I’ve got authority and it’s been bestowed on me to come to you. Now I am giving you authority to go on my behalf.
Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.”
So, as we go, we go in the authority of the One who is sending us.
- The command is “Make Disciples,” versus “Go.”
The word that is translated to us “Go,” is a participle in the Greek. It should be translated, “As you are going…” Now this doesn’t mean that we just hem and haw and never intentionally launch out. But instead, we launch out for Jesus and as we are going out, we are to realize the task to “make disciples.”
Now, I want us to make it as easy as possible to understand what a disciple is. As my friend, David Whitting, says, “A disciple of Jesus is anyone who is helping someone else follow Jesus.”
I love the simplicity of that.
- It’s a GLOBAL MISSION.
We are to go into all the world.
Jesus’ ministry was to Israel. There were moments where he engaged the Gentile world, as they begged him too, but his ministry was limited to just the nation of Israel.
Our mission field is all the world.
So when they had come together, they asked him, “Lord, will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?” 7 He said to them, “It is not for you to know times or seasons that the Father has fixed by his own authority. 8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
The disciples were asking, “Are you restoring Israel?” And Jesus responds, “Don’t worry about that. Go to the ends of the earth!”
You see, his death, burial and resurrection were for all the world. And God’s desire is that none should perish. So, we are his ambassadors compelling others to follow Jesus.
- We are to understand what a win looks like on this mission. Mission Clarity is a Must!
The outcome of the mission is simple. The outcome of the mission of inviting people and helping people follow Jesus is this: Believer’s Baptism and Obedience to what Jesus has taught.
Isn’t that what should be expected of a soldier? A soldier wears the uniform! And a soldier obeys.
The soldier of Christ identifies with Christ in the waters of baptism. This is why we stress the ordinance of baptism so much. It comes right from the mission that Jesus gives his followers.
Baptism is identifying with Christ publicly. As we baptize, we immerse under water. We do because of the symbolism…being BURIED with Christ and BEING RAISED to New life.
But it also symbolizes submission. It’s not natural to allow someone to plunge you underwater. As kids in a pool, we fight that. When other kids want to get up on our head and plunge us underwater, we fight them.
But in the waters of baptism, we submit…we trust…we lay ourselves down.
Have you been baptized out of obedience to the Lord? Have you, as a follower of Christ, embraced his call to obey and be baptized?
We are doing a special Easter Sunday baptism and we would love for your to let us know of your desire to be baptized. Come to the guest reception, fill out a card in the chairs in front of you and put it in the offering baskets when they are passed. Let us know and we will walk you through it.
Now, you may say, “Well, when I was an infant, my parents baptized me…so is that cool?”
First, let me say, I would never want to cast dispersion on your parents and their leadership in your life, especially in their spiritual leadership. Further, I would encourage you to consider making your own profession. That’s what is different about this. You are making your own profession of allegiance in following Jesus. They expressed their heart through your baptism for you to follow Jesus. You are expressing your heart to the Lord out of obedience to him that you are following Jesus.
But beyond baptism, there is the call to obedience to all that Christ has commanded.
- To love,
- to do good,
- to honor your parents,
- to not be given to drunkenness,
- to honor authority
- to be people of prayer and
- to bear fruit as sent ones.
So, we teach the word not to simply gain knowledge, but to take action on the mission of obedience to all that He has commanded.
And why do we do this? Because as disciples, we are called to introduce others to Jesus and our lives are to reflect the one we are representing.
So, let’s dive deep for a second…How is it going in obeying all that He has commanded?
- Are you loving God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength?
- Are you loving your neighbor as yourself?
Let’s look at this last principle.
III. Extreme Ownership Requires…Joining Him in the Mission
Notice this…Our Commanding Officer…Our Lord…Our General…The Psalm 2 Christ…
He is on the Mission and we are joining him. This point won’t take as long as the others, but it is the most significant of all.
“And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Some say this is a promise. It is, isn’t it.
But the joy is experiencing the shift…from promise to fact. When you know that you know that you know… “That I am with you!!!”
You see, He is the one on Mission to win the world so that none would perish. He is the one who is at work. We avail ourselves to him, but he is the one at work in and through us. His Spirit is at work in us and through us to convict the world of sin and righteousness and judgement. We are simply vessels through which he is working.
Have you experienced the shift yet? From promise to fact that you can tell someone else about? The truth that you know that you know that you know that he is with you?
If not, maybe it’s because you aren’t pursuing his mission!
Consider three responses today…
The first is one of submission. Are you submitted to the authority of Jesus?
If not, why not? What’s holding you back? Is there something he wants you to lay odwn? Is there an idol in your life?
The second one is Understanding and complying with his mission.
Maybe you need to be baptized…are you willing to do that? If not, why not? What’s holding you back?
Are you burdened to lead someone else to Jesus? If so, who are they? Are you willing to invest in them and share Jesus with them?
The third is understanding the shift…that Jesus is the one on the mission and he wants you to know of his presence.
Is it more than a promise to you? If not, ask the Lord to show you the FACT of his presence to you as you launch out to share with others.