“Make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit.”—MATTHEW 28:19.
SHORTLY before his ascension to heaven, Jesus gave his disciples a commission. He told them: “Make disciples of people of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the holy spirit.” (Matthew 28:19) What a staggering task that was!
Just think! At Pentecost 33 C.E., about 120 disciples received the outpouring of holy spirit and began to fulfill that commission by telling others that Jesus was the long-hoped-for Messiah, through whom salvation could be gained. (Acts 2:1-36) How would such a small group reach “people of all the nations”? In human terms it was impossible, but “with God all things are possible.” (Matthew 19:26) The early Christians had the support of Jehovah’s holy spirit, and they had a sense of urgency. (Zechariah 4:6; 2 Timothy 4:2) Hence, within just a few decades, the apostle Paul could say that the good news was being declared “in all creation that is under heaven.”—Colossians 1:23.
Throughout much of the first century, true worship continued to spread. However, Jesus had prophesied that the time would come when Satan would sow “weeds” and the true Christian “wheat” would be overshadowed for many centuries until harvesttime. After the death of the apostles, that came true.—Matthew 13:24-39.