Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Matthew 28:18-20)
This is the very last command Jesus Christ gave his disciples before his ascension to heaven where he sat down at the right hand of the Almighty Father. This command carries great import, and the Church calls it “The Great Commission.” We are to preach the gospel and make disciples of all nations. We are to baptize these disciples and to teach them to obey everything Jesus commanded his disciples.
What did Jesus command his disciples?
He of course gave them various commands, perhaps the greatest among them was to love one another. But what were his commands in the context of preaching the gospel to the lost and fulfilling the Great Commission?
Luke 10:1 After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others and sent them two by two ahead of him to every town and place where he was about to go. …9 Heal the sick who are there and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near to you.’
The 72 disciples were commanded to “heal the sick” in the context of proclaiming the kingdom of God to the lost. The miraculous healings were the evidence that Jesus was in fact the promised Messiah (John 14:11). We see that Jesus commanded the 72 disciples to do two things here: heal the sick and proclaim the kingdom of God. Are these two commands still valid today? Inasmuch as Jesus followed these commands with his assurance that “surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age,” we know that these two commands are indeed still valid for disciples today.
Therefore as part of fulfilling the Great Commission today, we are to teach the Lord’s disciples in all nations how to obey his command to heal the sick and proclaim the kingdom of God to the lost. Miraculous healings are essential in convincing especially non-Christian gospel-resistant peoples in the Third World that our God is the only true God and that Jesus Christ is the only way to Him.
That is what the Lord has called The Elijah Challenge to do during these last days.