This week’s devotions are based on the Week 11″Explore God” – Meant for More! (WATCH HERE)
Matthew 28:18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
For most Christians, these words of Jesus are very familiar. Known as the “Great Commission” these words give “marching orders” to the followers of Jesus before he ascends back into heaven.
However, I often think about the audience and setting of this conversation.
The timing of the conversation is one that is very close, if not the day of Jesus’ departure. If you knew you had just a short time with a group of people, you would make sure to convey the most important thing or things that you want that person to remember. These words make sense as Jesus wants to make sure his followers know he has all power, he is calling them to make more followers and they have his presence throughout.
More than likely, this is what we most commonly think of in these verses.
But I think of the audience…
Would I have confidence these words would be trusted, followed, and shared? Hmm…?
Just preceding Jesus words in verse 18, Matthew records this:
17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.
The group of followers had doubters.
In the group was Thomas…who had doubts.
Peter…who denied him.
James and John…who wanted power and authority
Matthew…who was a tax collector and perhaps a cheater.
Philip…a bit skeptical at times.
And the list goes on.
Would this be the group you would trust with the next generation of spreading the Gospel? Perhaps if you were the HR Manager for Jesus, Inc., you would be a bit hesitant to trust the company to this group.
But Jesus did.
And still does.
The fact that Jesus would entrust his work to the group originally there is amazing to consider along with humbling.
He still chooses to use us today…doubters, deniers, skeptics, arrogant, sinful individuals.
He has no plan “B.”
We are his plan “A.”
The amazing nature of Jesus is that his grace extends to his call to communicate grace to others. On our own we would never be worthy nor equipped, but his grace both makes us worthy (forgiven) and equipped to speak.
Through these lenses I hear his words again…
All authority is Jesus. That means it’s not my opinion that matters…Jesus’ is the only one that matters. If he calls me…that’s all the authority I need.
Go and make disciples…Disciples aren’t perfect, they are one’s convinced that Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. I don’t have to be perfect, I just need the message of grace firmly in my heart.
I am with you always…I’m going to need it! But that’s why Jesus promised it.
So leave these words of Jesus allowing them to ring clearly in your ears and stirring deeply in your heart. Jesus is commissioning you with his power and presence to be part of his eternal work…bring the message of grace to people!
Apply: What changes when you realize Jesus is commissioning you because he wants you to be part of the plan to share the Gospel vs. thinking you have to interview and qualify?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for the amazing nature of your grace which I get to live and share! Be with me and equip me to be better at being your representative to others! AMEN.