What Does Jesus Say in the Bible about Global Missions?
The Bible has a lot to say about global missions. But if we look only in the gospels to see what Jesus himself said, while a man on earth, can we find him talking about global missions?
Reaching the nations has been the heart of God since the dawn of creation. You can see it in how he talks to Abraham and many others way back at the beginning. In fact, here are 5 Bible verses revealing God’s heart for the nations.
But what does Jesus tell his disciples about global missions? What does he tell the crowds and others he ministered to while on earth? Here are ten of his clearest calls for going to the nations to preach the gospel and make disciples.
10 Things Jesus Said about Global Mission
We’ll start with the most well-known Bible verse about global missions:
1. Matthew 28:19 – the Great Commission
“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations.”
Jesus gives this command to his disciples after he has been raised from the dead. The fact that this command appears among his final words to his disciples makes clear that reaching the nations has been a key part of God’s plan from the start.
Salvation was never meant to just stay in Israel. It was always meant for every nation, tribe, and tongue.
It’s also worth noting that, when you view the Greek for this verse, a more accurate rendering goes like this:
“Therefore, having gone, make disciples of all the nations.”
The only command tense verb is ‘make.’ Thus, the crux of what Jesus is commanding here is to make disciples. And that’s what iBAM’s mission is all about – making disciples in the nations using business entrepreneurship as the vehicle.
2. Matthew 8:11 – East and West
“I say to you that many will come from east and west, and recline at the table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.”
Jesus says this to the centurion after commending his faith. What this reveals is that Jesus views the inclusion in heaven of people from the entire world – east and west – as a done deal. It’s already going to happen.
But how is it going to happen?
Through people like you and me. God uses people to accomplish his will throughout scripture, and this is no exception, as many other verses in this list make clear. It is because people like you and me go to the nations, or give financial support to those who do, that many will come from east and west.
3. Matt 24:14 – Then the End Will Come
“This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”
Regardless on your views about the end times, this verse is pretty clear. And that alone should tell us something, because much of the language about the future is not clear in scripture. But this verse is, which suggests it’s one of the few things Jesus wants us to understand with absolute clarity with zero doubt.
What does Jesus want?
He wants every nation to hear the gospel, and he’s not going to return until that happens.
Who is going to help make it happen? See 7 things you can do to re-ignite your passion to reach the nations.
4. Mark 11:17 – a House of Prayer
“Is it not written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer for all the nations?’”
Jesus says this after turning over the money tables in the temple. Here, he refers to the temple as a house of prayer for ALL the nations. He is quoting from Isaiah 56:7, again revealing that God always intended his word and his kingdom to spread to everyone.
He didn’t just kick out the money changes because commerce doesn’t belong in the temple. He did it because he wants all the people groups of the world to know him.
5. Mark 16:15 – All Creation
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.”
Jesus says this to his disciples after the resurrection. Here, the language says simply to preach to all creation – everyone, everywhere.
6. Luke 9:60 – Proclaim Everywhere
“But as for you, go and proclaim everywhere the kingdom of God.”
Here, people were asking Jesus what they should do if they want to follow him. One guy asks for permission to go bury his father first. Jesus is pretty direct here and basically tells him not to waste time with that, because everyone needs to hear about God’s kingdom.
Why does he say that? Because reaching the nations – everywhere – with the message of the cross is the most important thing we have been given to do.
7. Luke 24:47 – Beginning from Jerusalem
“…repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem.”
Here, you see the concept of the gospel spreading. It begins in Jerusalem, and will go from there to be proclaimed in all the nations – the ultimate goal of God’s plan.
No one individual can preach to all the nations, which is why God has called and inspired so many to global missions over the centuries, each going to one or a small handful of countries during their lives.
8. John 3:16-17 – World Be Saved
“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have eternal life. For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through him.”
This famous verse, spoken from Jesus to Nicodemus, is a global missions Bible verse. Look at the language.
Who does God love? The whole world.
Why did he give Jesus his Son? So that whoever believes will have eternal life, no matter where they live.
Why did he send him? To save the world.
Saving the whole world from sin is why God sent Jesus.
9. John 6:33 – Bread of God
“For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world.”
Jesus is the bread of God, which he clarifies later in the same chapter. And what is he here to do as the ‘bread of life’? Jesus came to give life to the entire world – those from every nation, tribe, and language who call on his name.
No one is left out who wants in and is willing to repent, turn from sin, and follow Jesus.
10. Acts 26:17-18 – From Darkness to Light
“…rescuing you from the Jewish people and from the Gentiles, to whom I am sending you, to open their eyes so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the dominion of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who have been sanctified by faith in me.”
This is Paul, recounting what Jesus said to him when he was interrupted on his trip to Damascus.
Jesus makes clear that he is sending Paul to the Gentiles – the nations – to turn them away from the dominion of darkness, and give them an eternal inheritance through faith.
Jesus sent Paul to the nations in part to set an example for the rest of us, that salvation was never meant to simply stop with us.
Global missions – whether you go yourself or whether you give to others who are going – has always been at the foundation for why Jesus came, what he trained his disciples to do, and what he calls us to do.
How iBAM Carries Out Jesus’ Commission
iBAM is just one of many ministries doing global missions work. Our focus is to make disciples through business entrepreneurship.
We train local church leaders and their members in other nations who want to start businesses. We show them how to use their workplaces as a means of discipleship. And by providing income for themselves through business ownership, they are also able to financially support their own churches, rather than having to rely on donations from people far away.
When you give to iBAM, you are helping local churches in other nations get established and start multiplying – from within their own congregations.
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