Go and Make Disciples!
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 28:18-20)
In these concluding words of Matthew, our Lord sends His disciples (and His every other subsequent follower) forth with the firm directive of “Go and make disciples.” We are to do this in His all-encompassing mighty authority. The key to this commissioning is the authority of Jesus. And the way that we receive His authority is through our knowledge and worship of the One whose name we bear. We cannot give what we do not possess. We must make a daily divine appointment to be filled–an appointment that will enable us to be respond as Jesus would to all that we encounter that day. Like manna, we are to collect the grace sufficient to meet our needs for the day. We cannot gobble up and hoard–it does not work that way. Our God desires to meet with us daily. Yet He is will never force Himself upon us. We simply are the great losers when we neglect to meet with Him. His desire is to empower and equip us to splash His grace upon all in our spheres of influence. We do not have to sit around scratching our heads wondering what direction to take. He will make it clear. We must be ready, going forth in Christ’s power and authority. If we try to go in our own strength, our works will be fruitless. I am reminded of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians regarding Jesus’ authority:
I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. (Ephesians 1:18-23)
To be sure, this same power is made readily available to all believers in the present day. We are to make the command of Christ our rule as well. As Jesus sends us out as His ambassadors, we go forth in His authority. He is the Lord of all. He has all power in heaven. He has authority and power over the angels and He has the power of intercession with the Father. He has all power on earth as well by the ministry of reconciliation. Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians:
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation. We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Corinthians 5:17-21)
At the conclusion of our verses today, we are sweetly reminded of God’s continual spiritual presence.
Take It to Heart
“All souls belong to Him, and to Him every heart and knee must bow, and every tongue must confess Him to be Lord.” (Matthew Henry)