Reaching Out to Others

Answer for Teachers
Answer Teachers Unit 08 - Pardoned, Prepared, and Powerful

TEXT: Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:14-20


The students will be able to explain what the Great Commission is and how it applies to their own walk with God.


The word world in Biblical usage has a number of meanings. Among those meanings are, "the universe including the heavenly host, the inhabitants of the earth, the whole mass of men alienated from God and hostile to the cause of Christ, or worldly affairs." However, in our text in Mark, the meaning is "the whole circle of the earth."

The Old Testament world encompassed that portion of the earth from Greece to Ethiopia and from Persia to Spain. The southern portions of the Roman Empire were included in the New Testament world. Though our world has greatly expanded in the centuries since the time of Christ, the final command of Jesus to His disciples, which we refer to as the "Great Commission," is as imperative and relevant as ever.

Webster defines the word commission as, "an authoritative order, charge, or direction." The commission given to the disciples was delivered directly by the Great Authority. Those who accept His dominion in their lives recognize that it is still the responsibility of believers in this day to obey that charge.

Between verses 18 and 19 of our text in Mark, there is a lapse of forty days, in which Jesus appears several more times before His Ascension.


After His resurrection, Jesus gave His eleven disciples what we now call the Great Commission. He told them to go into all the world and preach the Gospel to everyone. The Gospel is the Good News that Jesus lives, and all who believe on Him will be saved. The disciples were to teach the people God's Word and to assure them that Jesus' presence would always be with them. That commission is for Christians today too. The world has grown and every Christian has his or her part to do in spreading the Gospel. Great joy is experienced by all who love Jesus, when a new soul is added to the Church.

  1. Just before Jesus ascended into Heaven, He gave His Great Commission. What was that Commission, and who were directed to have a part in the work?

    Response: The Great Commission was, "Go ye into all the world, and preach the Gospel." Jesus was speaking to His eleven disciples, called the Apostles. It was at this same time that Jesus told them to tarry in the city of Jerusalem until they received power from on high (Acts 1:4). He knew that the work would be so great that it could not be performed except through the agency and direct help of the Holy Spirit.
  2. Constant communion with God the Father was vitally important for the disciples, and the Holy Spirit was the important communicating Agent that they needed. He fills the same office for the Church on earth today. Name several of the ways in which overcoming Christians are dependent upon the Holy Spirit today.

    Response: Allow time for your students to give their answers. These could include: the Spirit helps our infirmities; we do not always know what to pray for, yet the Spirit makes intercession for us even when our prayers are but groanings (Romans 8:26); the Spirit of truth will guide us into all truth; He will show us things to come (John 16:13). How important that is in these last days just prior to Jesus' Second Coming! "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God" (Romans 8:14).
  3. Jesus told His disciples, "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." Jesus imparts a portion of that power to His followers to help them perform the work of His Kingdom on earth. How was this God-given power to be used? Were the disciples to rule with rigor the Church and people who came under their influence?

    Response: The power that God gave was to be used with humility. They were exhorted to rule over the Church faithfully, watching for the souls of men, as they that must give account. (See Hebrews 13:17.) The Apostle Paul listed the qualifications of an elder: "If any be blameless, the husband of one wife, having faithful children not accused of riot or unruly. For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; but a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate; holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayer" (Titus 1:6-9).
  4. The disciples were to preach Christ's message of salvation. That message was not just for a select few. Jesus had commanded them to preach to "every creature," wherever they could be found. What were the results that followed the disciples as they went forth preaching and teaching as Jesus had commanded?

    Response: The disciples went forth, and "preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following" (Mark 16:20). The signs included healing of the sick, delivering the demon-possessed, and raising the dead to life. Unbelievers were converted and established in the faith.
  5. Although Jesus' Great Commission was given to the eleven disciples who were with Him at the time, they could not speak the Gospel to every person in every part of the world throughout all the ages of time. However, the Gospel faithfully proclaimed made new disciples who in turn took up the commission. We know that Jesus promised, "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." What did He mean by that?

    Response: The disciples went forth, and "preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following" (Mark 16:20). The signs included healing of the sick, delivering the demon-possessed, and raising the dead to life. Unbelievers were converted and established in the faith.
  6. The Apostle Paul is an example of one who became a "new disciple," and obeyed Christ's command to preach the Gospel. Name some of the situations that Paul faced during his ministry.

    Response: Allow time for the class to enumerate their thoughts in regard to Paul's ministry. Their answers could include such things as, the Jews taking counsel in Damascus to kill Paul, but he was let down over the wall in a basket; Paul and Barnabas were persecuted in Iconium; Paul was stoned at Lystra; Paul and Silas were beaten and imprisoned in Philippi. The Apostle also witnessed many miracles of healing and deliverance through God's power, saw many Gentile churches established for Christ, and was instrumental in revivals and in many souls being saved from sin. In the end he could say, "I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith" (2 Timothy 4:7).
  7. Implicit faith in the Son of God will bring about great and marvelous things. Jesus assured the disciples that mighty miracles would follow their preaching of the truth. List some Scriptures which give us assurance that Jesus Christ still manifests Himself in behalf of those who truly honor and work for Him today.

    Response: Your students might include the following Scriptures in their list: Matthew 28:20; John 17:20; Hebrews 13:5,8. Some say that the miracles of the Gospel ceased when the first Church was fully established. They would have us believe that the baptism of the Holy Ghost was given only to secure a successful start for the Church but now is a thing of the past. Nothing can be farther from the truth, because true faith in God will bring about the same results in our lives as it brought about in the Early Church. The Latter Rain Gospel of today has witnessed the same miracles that accompanied the preaching of the Gospel after Pentecost. God will work for His people to the extent that they allow Him to work.
  8. The Great Commission included water baptism. It is an outward act that is indicative of the inward work performed by the grace of God. It is performed in behalf of those who have given their lives to Christ. How is the Holy Trinity represented in the ordinance of water baptism?

    Response: The disciples were commanded to baptize "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." These are the three persons of the Godhead. However, there is only one immersion. This typifies the death and burial of Jesus, and His triumphant Resurrection. (See Romans 6:3-6.) We can see this when we read of Jesus' baptism (Matthew 3:16-17). At that time, the three Persons of the Godhead were present. Jesus Christ, the Son obeyed the ordinance; the Father in Heaven witnessed to the fact by saying, "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased"; and the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of God, descended like a dove and alighted upon Jesus. The convert who obeys this wonderful ordinance may not see any demonstration with his natural eye or hear any words with his natural ear, yet the Godhead witnesses in the heart to the fact of his obedience.


Ask your class the following questions, and let the students take turns answering each question. WHO was the first person to invite you to Sunday school or tell you about Jesus? WHAT did you hear in Sunday school that you had never heard before? WHEN did you know that you should be saved? WHERE do you want to spend eternity? WHY do you think it is important to share the Good News with those who do not know Jesus? Talk about the fact that every Christian needs to do his part in God’s work so that nobody can say, "You never told me about Jesus. You never told me that He loves me."

Telling the Good News of Jesus' love to all the world is a big job. Each Christian needs to do whatever Jesus calls him to do. Use this activity to illustrate to your class that any job can be done more quickly and efficiently if each person does what he is supposed to do, when he is supposed to do it. Have all your students stand in a circle, about an arm's length apart. Hand a stack of books (or some other bulky object) to the student next to you, and tell him to pass the books to the next person in line. That person hands them to the next person, etc. When the books are finally returned to you, tell six of your students to step into the middle of the circle. Tell the others not to move from the spot where they are standing. Again, pass the books around the circle, which is now minus six "workers." (If your class is large enough, you might want to have six more move into the center of the circle, and pass the books around again.) As the activity starts again, each person has a longer distance to reach to pass the books to the next person. If two people from the same area have stepped out of line together, the reach is even greater! The books do finally reach their destination, but it would have been so much easier if the other people were in the places they should have been.

In the Search Key Verse are the words, "as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." Divide this activity into two parts. Draw a line down the center of a blackboard. At the top of the left column write the words, "As my Father hath sent me," and at the top of the right column write the words, "even so send I you." Under the first title, have your students help you make a list of things that Jesus did while He lived here on earth: loved, healed, saved, prayed, performed miracles of many sorts, preached, was a friend, etc. Under the second title, ask your students to help you list things Jesus expects His people to do until He calls them home to be with Him in Heaven: love, pray for healing, tell the Good News, be a friend to others, etc. In essence, the Christian's mission is to carry on the purpose of his Master's mission. Jesus had said almost this same thing in His intercessory prayer for His Apostles (John 17:18). In that same prayer He said "Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word." How wonderful that Jesus included each of us!