In Mark 16:15 Jesus commands his followers to "go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation." My understanding of this command is that we are to proclaim the gospel wherever we go to friends and strangers alike. As I try to understand this verse, I decided to a study on the word GO to help understand what Jesus meant when he said this. A brief summary of what I discovered is below.
The word "go" in Mark 16:15 comes from the Greek word πορεύομαι (poreuomai/por-yoo-om-ahee). This word translates as “go” 117 times, “depart” 11 times, “walk” 9 times, “go (one’s) way” 8 times, and is translated miscellaneously 9 times. By far, it is translated simply as "go" more than any other translation. In Mark 16:15, the translation is also "go." Simply stated, "go" means "do not stay" and I think that is exactly what Jesus was saying to his followers.
To get a better understanding of how this word was meant to be understood, I compared it to other similar verses where this same word is used in a similar context. This verse is a command from Jesus to the disciples telling them to go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Jesus is telling his disciples to go to a specific place (the world) and to do a specific task (preach the gospel) to a specific audience (all creation). Other similar passages where the word "go" was used to give people specific direction are shown below. In the below verses, the same word for "go" is used as in Mark 16:15. In each instance, it was a specific statement that was meant to be followed deliberately and actively as opposed to casually or passively. We see phrases such as: "Go and search carefully for the Child; Go and tell John what..., Go into the village in front of you, go quickly and tell his disciples, Go and tell that fox, go and sit in the lowest place, Go and show yourselves to the priests, Go and prepare the Passover for us, Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life, go into Damascus, and there you will be told...."
The implication was not to go "when you get around to it", "when it's convenient", or "when it fits into your schedule". It was to be a priority in the lives of Jesus' followers. There seems to be a sense of urgency in this command and it was implied to do those things now, not later. This fits with Jesus' call to make us fishers of men as we follow him. Fishermen go to the fish, deliberately. Fishermen don't wait for fish to come to them and jump into the boat. That will rarely, if ever, happen. A good fisherman gets his rod, line, bait and tackle, and then goes to the fish. He studies the fish to know which bait works best, and likely has favorite spots to fish because he knows where the fish like to hang out. Christians (aka Fishers of men) should be going to the fish (men) and not waiting for them to come to us. It should be an active and regular part of our lives. "Come follow Me and I will make you fishers of men." Matthew 4:29. There truly is no higher calling in life than for the living God to call you to follow Him and make you fishers of men.
Matt 2:8 “Go and search carefully for the Child;
Matt 2:20 Go into the land of Israel; for those who sought the Child’s life are dead.
Matt 9:13 Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’
Matt 10:6 but go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.
Matt 11:4 And Jesus answered them, “Go and tell John what
Matt 18:12 and go in search of the one that went astray?
Matt 21:2 saying to them, “Go into the village in front of you,
Matt 22:9 Go therefore to the main roads and invite
Matt 25:9 go rather to the dealers and buy for yourselves.
Matt 28:7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has
Matt 28:19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations,
Luke 5:24 “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed and go home.”
Luke 7:22 And he answered them, “Go and tell John what you
Luke 9:12 Send the crowd away to go into the surrounding
13:32 And he said to them, “Go and tell that fox,
Luke 14:10 But when you are invited, go and sit in the lowest place,
Luke 14:19 I have bought five yoke of oxen, and I go to examine them.
Luke 15:4 and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?
Luke 15:18 I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him,
Luke 17:14 “Go and show yourselves to the priests.”
Luke 22:8 “Go and prepare the Passover for us, that we may eat it.”John 20:17 the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them,
Acts 5:20 Go and stand in the temple and speak to the people all the words of this Life.”
Acts 22:10 and go into Damascus, and there you will be told
Acts 28:26 Go to this people, and say, You will indeed hear but never understand, and you will indeed see but never perceive.