Go and Make Disciples of All the Nations

These are the final days that Jesus has with his disciples on the earth. They might have understood all he said to them before he was crucified, but it is hard for us to understand when we don’t have context for what is happening. After they saw him die, after they saw him alive again, then they were able to understand and “he opened their minds to understand the scriptures”. Now, they could hear the great commission. Jesus, who now has all authority in heaven and earth, was sending them to “make disciples of all the nations”. It was for them to go. 

Observe Everything I Have Commanded

Matthew 28:16–20
Finally, the disciples are in Galilee as Jesus had asked them to be. In Matthew 28:18-20 Jesus gave them the great commission saying,

Matthew 28:18b–20 (LEB) “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you, and behold, I am with you all the days until the end of the age.”

The authority of Jesus has been demonstrated in the gospels, but particularly, “Matthew emphasizes this theme throughout his Gospel (e.g., Matt 7:29; 9:6; 21:23). Jesus has repeatedly demonstrated His authority over all things—the human body, demons, natural elements (such as wind and water), the Sabbath, sin, and even death. Compare 11:27; 26:64; Dan 7:13–14, 18, 22, 27; Phil 2:6–11; Col 1:15–20; 1 Pet 3:18–22; Rev 5:1–14”.1

But Jesus did not just get “all authority” so that he could have it, and it is no longer just Jesus demonstrating that authority. He got it so he could give it to us. He wanted us to “go and make disciples” and demonstrate his love for the world. This is a new time, “With the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ begins the “dispensation of the grace of God” (Eph. 3:2), which is defined as “his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus”; and, “the gift of God: not of works, lest any man should boast” (Eph. 2:7–9). Under grace God freely gives to the believing sinner eternal life (Rom. 6:23); accounts to him a perfect righteousness (Rom. 3:21, 22; 4:4, 5); and accords to him a perfect position (Eph. 1:6). The predicted results of this sixth testing of man are: (1) The salvation of all who believe (Acts 16:31); (2) judgment upon an unbelieving world and an apostate church (Mt. 25:31–46; 2 Thes. 1:7–10; 1 Pet. 4:17, 18; Rev. 3:15, 16)”.2

Jesus Appears While They Are Fishing

John 21:1-25 

Jesus Revealed Himself Again

John 21:1–14
After Jesus asks Mary to send them to Galilee. After Jesus reaches out to the two on the road to Emmaus. After Jesus waits eight days for Thomas to join the rest of the disciples. Now, Peter says, in John 20:3 “I am going fishing!” and they said, “We also are coming with you”. What were they doing fishing? This was their occupation(well, for some of them) before they met Jesus. Why were they fishing again? And, “during that night they caught nothing”.

Then in John 20:4-7 “Jesus stood on the beach”. Still, they don’t recognize him. Jesus says, “Throw the net on the right side of the boat” and they “were no longer able to haul it in from the large number of the fish”. Now, they know “it is the Lord”. Jesus has cooked for them Fish and bread. Still, Jesus is teaching them what it means to love and serve. 

Feed My Sheep

John 21:15–19
Jesus waited until after, in John 21:15 “they had eaten breakfast”. Peter had fished all night so probably hadn’t slept well. Casting the net and dealing with the boat is physical activity that they hadn’t engaged in during the three years of ministry with Jesus so they were likely feeling the fatigue. And, it was now morning and they were hungry. So physically, they wold not have been receptive until now. They are all settled. They are full and relaxed. Just as he had done at the last supper, he brings a message he wants them to remember. In John 21:15-17 “Jesus said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?'” Peter answers yes to each of the three times Jesus asks and hears, “Feed my lambs!”, “Shepherd my sheep!”, and “Feed my sheep!”.

When we read these verses, we often focus on these three commands, and they are important. This would be Peter’s life’s work. But there is the first question Jesus asked Peter that we may overlook. Jesus asked Peter, “Do you love me more than these?” Peter loved his fellow disciples, and they respected Peter. They had easily followed him as he went fishing and he could easily have been a natural leader for them going forward. But Jesus had a more important mission for Peter, “love me”. Peter’s focus needed to be on Jesus and demonstrated by his care for the people of God. Peter was to nurture the babies, to guard the mature, and to feed them all. Peter did occupy a special place in the early Church, in the body of Christ as it developed, but his path, in John 21:19 was, as ours is, to “Follow me!”.

There Are Many Other Things That Jesus Did

John 21:20–25

He Opened Their Minds to Understand the Scriptures

Luke 24:44–53
The last words that Jesus spoke to his disciples are here, and they are words that he had already said to them.

Luke 24:44–45 (LEB) And he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I* was still with you, that everything that is written about me in the law of Moses and the prophets and psalms must be fulfilled.” 45 Then he opened their minds to understand the scriptures,”

These last words were in Bethany, not in Jerusalem where he had been rejected. And this seems right because, the the Mount of Olives seemed a favored place of Jesus, where he had wept over Jerusalem and “In the Synoptic Gospels Jesus made Bethany his headquarters during his final week of ministry in Jerusalem (Mark 11:11, 12 = Matt 21:17; cf. Luke 19:29) … The gospels of Mark and Matthew also note that the anointing of Jesus at Simon the Leper’s house took place in Bethany (Mark 14:3 = Matt 26:6) … The story of the raising of Lazarus from the dead (John 11:1–44) also occurs in the context of Bethany”.3

Go Into All the World and Preach the Gospel to All Creation

Mark 16:9–20

Study Verses

Today’s Reading

  • Matthew 28:16-20
  • Mark 16:9-20
  • Luke 24:44-53
  • John 21:1-25

The Life and Ministry of Jesus Christ – The Gospels

This is the end of the series that follows the Gospels using the order of readings from the Tyndale One Year Chronological Bible. Covering these events chronologically as they happened, gives a much different context and helps us understand the move of God as He is introducing the Saviour, the Light of the world, Jesus Christ. This series begins with Return To Me And I Will Return To You at the end of Malachi and introduces the “Witnesses” writing the Gospels.

Operation Exodus

is helping Jewish people return to their homeland. You might fund one that desires to go home. http://operationexodususa.org/Overview


  • 1. Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Mt 28:18). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
  • 2. Scofield, C. I. (Ed.). (1917). The Scofield Reference Bible: The Holy Bible Containing the Old and New Testaments (p. 1044). New York; London; Toronto; Melbourne; Bombay: Oxford University Press.
  • 3. Perkins, L. J. (1992). Bethany (Place). In D. N. Freedman (Ed.), The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary (Vol. 1, p. 703). New York: Doubleday.