Great Commission — all peoples

The Meaning of Ethne

The Meaning of Ethne

“All power . . . everywhere . . . all nations . . . all that I have commanded.” — it is impossible to conceive of anything more inclusive than this.
— Johannes Blauw

Making disciples is a global challenge which cannot be fulfilled without going. The Gentiles are to be gathered in. The church has become a holy nation (ethos) God’s own people (2 Pe 2:9).

“All the nations” (panta ta ethne) is used four times in Matthew (24:9, 14; 25:32; 28:19). When we hear “nation” we think of nation-states which may be comprised of many ethnicities. But ethne also includes “tribes,” or “peoples.”

The aim of Jesus’ disciples, therefore, is to make disciples of all people everywhere, without distinction (Carson)

[ed. I wish I could make it more complicated than this! Anybody can understand it unless they are lost in the missional fog.]

Great Commission series so far:

UPDATE: The Meaning of Ethne in Matthew 28:19