Matthew 28:19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
In the Greek, the verbs are: Going therefore, make disciples of all nations, baptizing them … teaching them …
One imperative (command) verb: make disciples.
Three participles: going, baptizing, teaching.
We could call this the Mission Statement of the Ekklesia (these days every church and Christian body and even secular business organizations have “Mission Statements”, whether they take them seriously or not).
Jesus gave His Ekklesia a focused Mission Statement, commonly called The Great Commission.
The focus is on making disciples and developing them.
The “going” (by implication: into all nations) is with a view to making disciples.
The “baptizing” is to give the new disciples an opportunity to declare publicly that they are now disciples, and to imprint the fact indelibly in their minds, and in this sense is like a wedding ceremony – an appropriate analogy, as the newly baptized person becomes part of the “Bride of Christ”.
The “teaching” is to provide the environment in which the new disciples are taught what they should know and believe, and how they should live, to increasingly express their union with Jesus the Messiah.
A quick look at two points derived from the Greek text:
The word translated “teach” is mathteuo, make disciples. It is in the aorist imperative tense, and conveys a sense of urgency, equivalent to Do It Now! The aorist also conveys the idea of “once for all”, a sense of finality. An unbeliever who has become a disciple is one who has made a firm, once-for-all decision. As Jesus said in Luke 9:62 “… No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”
The word for “to observe” is tereo, which carries the implication of “keep an eye on”, “guard”, “obey”, as the habit of their lives.