I love my wife. That is no secret to the people around me. It is no secret to her either. She knows I do. I tell her and do things that demonstrate my love for her. There are people with whom I work who have yet to meet my sweetheart but know that I love her. How do they know it? I tell them about her. They know we went to a playoff hockey game together. They know we fixed bacon-wrapped asparagus together. They also know she is assigned a different ring tone and vibration pattern on my phone so I will know to answer THAT call in a meeting.
What does that have to do with the Great Commission? Let’s start with the great commandment. Jesus was challenged to get into the debate of his day about the greatest commandments. The practice was one of those mental exercises of the day that would eventually end in either a heated debate or a person self-righteously declaring his keeping of the greatest commandment identified. When Jesus was asked about it, He defined the greatest commandments as loving God and loving others like you love yourself (Matt. 26:36-40).
Here’s the point: If you love someone, everyone knows it. Others will see your eyes light up when you mention their name. You can’t help but tell others about that person you love. If we love God, then it seems to me that telling others about Him (the great commission of Matthew 28) is the natural outcome. Loving others is also related to the great commission in that if we love others, then the first thing we will tell them would be about God’s salvation. Failing to do so would be one of the most unloving acts we could think of.
Our problem with obeying the great commission may simple be our failure to keep the greatest commandments of loving God and loving others. If we get who we love right, the telling of others will happen…we will not be able to keep from talking about the One we love!