The imperative command of “making disciples” was not just for the first disciples and foundational leaders of the church. Remember that, “his last command is my first concern.” The Great Commission was given to over 500 people who had joined the 11 disciples on that final hilltop (Matthew 28:16-20, 1 Corinthians 15:6 – this is noticed in Thomas and Gundry, Harmony, section 256 NASB).
You might notice that the term GREAT is never associated with the commission, which tells me that this is an ordinary, everyday commission to people who are willing to be used by our risen Lord and Savior.
10 Post Resurrection Appearances
- Mary Magdalene: Mark 16:9-11, John 20:11-18
- Other Women: Matthew 28:9-11
- 2 Men on the Emmaus Road: Luke 24:13-32
- Peter: Luke 24:33-35, 1 Corinthians 15:5a
- 10 Disciples, Thomas Absent: John 20:19-25
- 11 Disciples, Thomas Present: John 20:26-31
- 7 Disciples Fishing: John 21:1-35
- 11 Disciples in Galilee: Matthew 28:16-20
- James, Jesus’ Brother: 1 Corinthians 15:7
- Disciples in Jerusalem: Luke 24:44-49, and Acts 1:3-8
[Based on my classes with Richard D. Leineweber, Jr. c. 2000]