‘Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”’ – Matthew 28.18 – 20From Sam Lomas:
In the blog yesterday and today we are thinking about these famous verses found in Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus has set all of His followers a huge task. It is a challenge we must all take part in. Yesterday we saw (v18) that God gave Jesus authority over heaven and earth. It is on the basis of this authority that Jesus told his disciples to make more disciples as they go out into the world to spread His message of salvation. Today we are going to think about two other elements to this ‘Great Commission’: the instruction and the promise.
The Instruction: (v19-20a)
Jesus left His disciples with these final words of instruction: under His authority, they were to:
- make more disciples;
- they were to baptize;
- they were to teach.
Within these three instructions, so much could be unpacked theologically. But right now, I wonder – what does it look like for you and me to follow Jesus’ instruction?
Whether or not we actually do the preaching, baptizing or teaching – I think our actions should never hinder these things taking place.
Instead we should be people who, by what we say and what we do, draw people closer to knowing and understanding who Jesus is. Never hindering the Gospel. Instead, always ready to share testimony of who Jesus is to you.
The Promise: (v20b)
When someone you love and respect is leaving you, their very last words really matter. Jesus’ last words to His disciples were a promise that He would always be with them. The Holy Spirit would soon be poured out (Pentecost) and by His Spirit, Jesus’ presence would never leave them.
In the same way, Jesus promises to be with us as we undertake this challenge. Do you ever feel out of your depth or on your own when trying to share your faith? If so, be encouraged by the fact that Jesus is there with you as you follow this Great Commission. When an opportunity to share your faith or to name Jesus arises, but fear or anxiety arises within you – remember, Jesus is with you, He is greater than any fears you have!
So, there you have it…
- The Sending (Jesus has the authority of heaven & earth)
- The Instruction (to share your faith)
- The Promise (by His Spirit, Jesus is with you)