Most Christians are familiar with Jesus’ marching orders to the church in what has come to be known as the Great Commission: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you….” (Mt 28:19-20). But, as individuals, many readily dismiss this command or make excuse by citing their inability to “go” as missionaries to faraway lands.
The Greek word translated “go” in the above text is the same word translated “as you go” in the limited commission (Mt 10:7). The word literally means “to go on one’s way” (Vine’s). In Matthew 28:19, Green’s Interlinear Greek-English New Testament reads, “going then.” So we can better understand this command to read, “As you are going on your way, [teach], make disciples….”
Jesus said that we are the salt of the earth and the light of the world (Mt 5:13-16). Salt influences [seasons & flavors] that which it comes into contact with. It is not responsible for seasoning what it does not come into contact with. Light illuminates its area of influence. It is not responsible for illuminating that which is outside or beyond its area of influence. So it is with you and me.
As we are going, in the work-place, in the market-place, in our neighborhoods, etc., we are to be the salt and the light. We are to influence those around us as we reflect the light and the love of Christ to them. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Mt 5:16). As you are going, “be active in sharing your faith” (Philemon 6 – NIV 1984). As you are going, “always be ready to give an answer to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear [gentleness & respect]” (1 Pet 3:15). This is how the Lord’s church grew in the first century. “Therefore, those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word!” (Acts 8:4).
There is no greater privilege afforded us in this life than to be “laborers together with God” (1 Cor 3:9) in the business of saving souls! “The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and he who wins souls is wise!” (Pro 11:30). But, although we may plant the seed (Lk 8:11; Jas 1:21), and others may water it, it is our gracious God who gives the increase! (1 Cor 3:5-8). To Him belongs all the glory and praise we could ever offer! (2 Cor 9:15).