The Story of Jesus Jesus Gave His Great Commission (Lesson 17)
1. According to John 5:39, the Scriptures reveal "The Story of Jesus." 2. Through careful study we will grow in our knowledge of Christ (2 Peter 3:18). 3. Following His resurrection Jesus was with His followers for forty days (Acts 1:1-3). 4. During this period many witnesses saw the Lord. 5. At the end of this forty-day period, Jesus gave His Great Commission, and He ascended to heaven.
I. JESUS GAVE HIS GREAT COMMISSION
A. Matthew 28:18-20 1. (vs.18) Jesus based His Great Commission on His divine authority. a. Jesus received His authority from the Father (John 17:2). b. Jesus demonstrated His authority in many ways throughout His ministry. c. Jesus' resurrection established His authority beyond question (Romans 1:4). 2. (vs.19-20a) Jesus instructed His apostles to: a. "teach all nations" [contrast with "the limited commission" -- Matthew 10:5-8] b. baptize those who believed their teaching "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit" c. teach those they baptized to follow the instructions He had given to them. 3. (vs.20b) Jesus promised to be with His followers as His mission is fulfilled. B. Mark 16:15-18 1. (vs.15) Jesus instructed His apostles to preach the Gospel to everyone. 2. (vs.16) Jesus revealed His terms of salvation. 3. (vs.17-18) Jesus gave the apostles the ability to perform certain signs. C. Luke 24:44-49 1. (vs.44-46) Jesus caused the apostles to understand the Scriptures that relate to His death and resurrection. 2. (vs.47-48) Although Jesus instructed the apostles to teach everyone, He wanted them to begin their work in Jerusalem. 3. (vs.49) Jesus said that He would send the Holy Spirit to the apostles. a. The apostles were to remain in Jerusalem until they received the Holy Spirit (Acts 1:4-8). b. Jesus had earlier shown why He would send the Spirit to the apostles (John 14:26; 16:13).
II. JESUS ASCENDED TO HEAVEN
A. Jesus' ascension is recorded in: 1. Luke 24:50-51 2. Acts 1:9-11. B. In heaven Jesus is seated at the Father's right hand (Mark 16:19). C. Following His ascension Jesus continued working with the apostles (Mark 16:20). 1. Jesus accompanied the apostles as He had said (Matthew 28:20b). 2. The signs performed by the apostles confirmed their teaching (Hebrews 2:3-4).