Vision : Matthew 28:16-20

“teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you”
Vision is vital. We live in a changing world. Some of that change is God ordained. Seasons in the natural world, stages of life, day and night. These are all part of the rhythm that God placed in the world for our good and wellbeing. However, we are also surrounded by unstructured change. From pandemics to drought, from the war in Ukraine to economic challenges. These seemingly random changes can cause us to drop our heads and just try and get through the day. It is vision that lifts our heads. It is God’s vision that reminds us that we are created for greater things, for eternal things, for Kingdom exploits.

Matthew 28:16-20 is probably one of the most famous passages in the bible, certainly in the New Testament. The Great Commission! The risen Christ envisioning his followers before ascending into heaven. It is a passage that has launched missionary movements across the globe with it’s bold statement to GO! More recently the rise of Disciple making movements have focused on the imperative – make disciples. However, for a moment, let us focus on the actual vision statement within this commission. The actual “Why” behind the activity of disciple making.
“teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you”
We know that Jesus called people to follow him, to be his disciples. But to understand what that meant we must remind ourselves of what it meant to be a disciple of a Rabbi in the first century. The word disciple has become such a well-known word we can forget that the original emphasis of the word was that of the apprentice. You became a disciple of a rabbi to learn what he knew and to do what he did. Just like an apprentice you spent time with a master craftsman with the intention that you would become an expert in that craft.

If you were, or are, an apprentice to a carpenter, you did not learn to talk about carpentry, you learnt to be a carpenter. So it was for the first disciples of Jesus. They walked with Jesus, they learnt from Jesus and then they did the things that Jesus did. In this most famous of passages Jesus is commissioning them to carry on this process. Don’t just teach them about me, Jesus is saying, teach them to obey. Teach them to do. Jesus doesn’t want us to know about the Kingdom, he wants us to inhabit the Kingdom. To be Kingdom bringers. Remember, here at Everyday Church we find it helpful to speak about the Kingdom under four Kingdom headings:
  • Salvation – a people in relationship with God
  • Sanctification – a people displaying the holiness and humility of God
  • Signs and Wonders – a people who bring the authority and power of God
  • Social Action – a people who fight for justice and display the compassion of God.
How are we doing in our apprenticeship in the Kingdom? You can use the questions below to help you unpack that question. However, before we start thinking Jesus is simply setting a new set of tasks before us remember the last words of this passage – “and surely I am with you always to the very end of the age”  We are called to a Kingdom vision, but at the heart of that vision is relationship. We are created for perfect relationship with God and Jesus has made that possible. Jesus is calling us into the family business, but first he is calling us into the family – we are beloved children of the living God.


  1. Which of the four Kingdom quadrants do you most naturally connect with? Salvation, Sanctification, Signs and Wonders or Social Action?

  2. How is your apprenticeship going in these areas?

  3. Who might you learn from in these areas and how might you connect with them?


Father God,
Thank you that you have called us to such an amazing Kingdom vision. Would you fill me afresh with your Holy Spirit that I might have a fresh awareness of your presence in my life. Help me allow the Holy Spirit to lead me into fresh obedience and opportunity to bring your Kingdom into every area of my life.
This Everyday Devotions was written by Simon Elliott, our Lead Elder.

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