“Paramount” – Webster’s Dictionary defines the word as that which is “of chief concern or importance; foremost.” It is the word that best describes a conversation I had recently with my 20-year-old daughter. We found ourselves standing just outside the security area at Raleigh-Durham International Airport. Sadly, her Christmas break had come to an end and it was time for her to return to college. As we embraced one final time my words to her were paramount. I didn’t speak of politics, or sports, or finances or the weather (though lately it has been frigid here in North Carolina). I whispered in her ear that which was paramount – “Study hard,” “Take care of yourself” and most of all “Your daddy loves you.” Thoughts, words and expressions were at a premium; it was a critical moment to communicate my heart to one I love and cherish. No time for the superfluous, only that which is “of chief concern or importance; foremost.”
So it was with our Lord as He engaged in a post-resurrection/pre-ascension conversation with His disciples. Jesus knew that in this, one of the final conversations He would have with His disciples, there was no time for idle chatter. Jesus had to communicate His heart to His followers one more time and only that which was and is paramount to Him flowed from His lips: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28: 19-20, NASB)
With Jesus this Great Commission was paramount and so it must be with every Christ-follower. Global disciple-making must be our chief concern and global disciple-making must be foremost in our strategy. It is paramount!