MAKE DISCIPLES OF ALL NATIONS
16Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them.
17And when they saw him, they worshiped him, but some doubted.
18And Jesus came and said to them,
“All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
This Great Commissioning. Lord Jesus gave not only to his 11 Apostles, (not being Matthias, appointed yet to succeed Judas Iscariot). But also, to all the Galilean believers who assisted to the mountain to see Him resurrected (Matthew 28:10).
But the writers concentrate the attention on the Apostles, because only them were entrusted with the authority over the whole gospel deliverance and government of the Church. This day, even though Jesus also had already commissioned the 11 and the Jerusalem disciples to preach the gospel to all nations and baptize them (Mark 16:14-18); now repeats this commissioning, to the same apostles and other Galilean disciples, (probably 500 of them, 1Corinthians 15:6).
Lord Jesus sent his Church to:
Disciple all nations
Baptize them in the Name of the Trinity
Teach the disciples to remain faithful and grow in holiness and knowledge of Him.
And He promised that He will be with us, on Earth, through the Holy Spirit (John 14:16-18), until his return in Glory.
This passage teaches us three important lessons apart that to know that Jesus is willing to receive and save any human, regardless of nationality, sex or race, or any other particular, as long as he or she believes in Him.
That is why, the first part of the commissioning is to ‘make disciples’, meaning, people not only who have experience conversion, but also repentance and have a serious compromise to follow Christ. To become a disciple, not just a believer.
Then we are ordered to baptize these disciples. This leaves clear, but order of mentioning, that water baptism only takes valor in cases of believers, and not in infants, or by force, or by anyone else who does not consciously desire it and demands it. But also leaves clear to us, that it is a necessary step into the path of salvation, otherwise, it would not have been mentioned as part of the commissioning as necessary.
Finally, He commands us not to stop there, but to also, ‘teach them to observe’ Jesus commands and precepts. This includes, to pray, worship, obedience, morality, and in general a mode of conduct that grows us into holiness and similarity to Jesus.
As a last part, Jesus reminds us that He will be with us, because He knows that to do all that, we will encounter obstacles, opposition, and a sinful human nature, but if we are faithful, and the converts too, He will protect us, provide us, and make holy renewal possible.
As an extra note, I would like to add, that to some who say that verse 19 is a later addition (especially the United Pentecostals), that the trinitarian version he rendered, it is the only version existent in all manuscripts of Matthew, even in Syriac, not only Greek; and it is quoted as such by the Didache, which is earlier than any ‘father’, but it is also quoted by early Church Fathers. The hypothesis that is an addition, is born from pure speculation from people who find hard that the knowledge of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as God, had been held by the apostles or the 1st century Church; but the historical data, totally contradicts that idea.