Chapter
Verse
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Matthew 28:19

ESV Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
NIV Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
NASB Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit,
CSB Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
NLT Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
KJV Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

What does Matthew 28:19 mean?

In Matthew's story of Jesus, these are His parting words to His eleven remaining disciples. Verses 18–20 are often called the "Great Commission" because Jesus is sending His hand-chosen disciples out into the world to accomplish a specific mission: Make more disciples. This comes with some noteworthy inclusions, but what is also crucial are things which Jesus does not say.

Specifically, the disciples are to make more disciples of all nations. This means people from every people group and ethnicity on earth. Through Jesus, God's relationship with humanity has moved beyond Israel to include people from every corner of the world who come to the Father through the Son.

Jesus' command is to make "disciples." A disciple is someone who becomes like his or her master by living in a servant relationship to him. They learn from and submit to that person's example. That's what each of the eleven disciples hearing this for the first time had done in answer to Jesus' call. It is now what they will invite others to participate in from around the world.

Discipleship to Jesus involves at least the two things Jesus mentions in this command: baptism and obedience. The disciples are commanded to baptize new disciples in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. The choice to be publicly baptized is evidence that someone has believed in Jesus and made the commitment to follow Him. The disciples were given the authority to baptize that person in the name of God, declaring that person's position in the eternal family of God.

Notable is that Jesus does not command His disciples to "print Bibles," or anything similar. The written Word of God is our ultimate reference for matters of faith (1 Corinthians 4:6; Acts 17:11). It was intended for that purpose by God (2 Timothy 3:16–17). It is not meant to be the only means, or even the primary means, by which new Christians learn about faith (Acts 8:30–31). The primary work of the Great Commission is to "make disciples," which means the cooperative, mentoring process we now refer to as "discipleship" (Acts 18:24–28; Hebrews 10:25; 13:7).
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