“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore and make disciples…” Matthew 28:18,19a
The command was simple. “Go.” It was Christ’s last. His teaching on earth was complete. His mission finished.Crucified, dead, buried and risen to eternal life. And the word He wanted to leave with His disciples was simply, “Go.”
Coming to grips with Jesus’ command allows us the opportunity to live a faithful life. If we follow His commands we begin to experience what God intended for us. Grasping the task Jesus gave them would enable them to begin the spread of the Gospel and the multiplication of His church. Just think of the numbers exponen?ially for a moment. From one (Jesus) to 12 (disciples) to 3000 (at Pentecost) to millions upon millions of faithful followers today. All born-again believers sprang from that one simple command, “Go.”
In three short verses Jesus validated his universal authority over both heaven and earth, gave them a simple command, then put them at ease and comforted them by assuring them he would never leave them and would be with them always.
Wow! Can you grasp the confidence and assurance Jesus was meting out to his disciples? Can you grasp the emotional turmoil they must have felt: excitement, sadness, awe and wonder, encouragement, fear, confidence, doubt, comfort, the whole gamut of emotions? Don’t you know this hand-picked band of common men had no idea of the impact their faithful lives would have on history and the world?
Can you grasp the impact a faithful life you chose to live would have on your sphere of influence, your family, your neighbors, your friends, your co-workers?
We can take some steps to insure we live a faithful life, like most of the disciples chose to live.
First we can operate under His authority, and not our own. In verse 18 Jesus says He has been given ALL authority in heaven and in earth. All means All. All other authority, whether kings, dictators, emperors, or presidents, is only possible if granted by Jesus. The great conflict we carry with us each day is the conflict between Jesus’ authority and our selfish human wills. We need to submit to the authority of Jesus. And we need to understand His purpose if we’re going to live a faithful life and carry out His plan for our lives. Al authority was given to Jesus because He came to save the world. It was His purpose, his reason for becoming the Son of man.
Once we submit to His authority and understand His purpose, our task is the same as the disciples, “Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations.” v 19. All nations doesn’t mean we should all book passage on a freighter headed for China tomorrow. It does mean Jesus gave us the command to go to all nations. That means across the globe, across town, or across the street. Wherever and whenever God presents the opportunities. You may feel called of God to go on a short term mission trip. You may feel called of God to work for a statewide or nationwide ministry. You may feel called of God to pack up your things, sell your worldly belongings, and move your family to Nepal. No matter where you go, two things will determine what you do. First, you must realize the significance of His story and its impact on every man, woman and child on the globe. Secondly, you must feel the call of God on your life and be willing to pursue the plan God has laid on your heart.
If you’re going to go in Jesus’ name you need to be a fully devoted follower of Jesus. A disciple is defined as a fully devoted follower of Jesus. You can’t make others into disciples if you’re not a completely devoted follower of Jesus yourself. Once you know Jesus and become a fully devoted follower, you’ve got to let the story capture you. It needs to be a passion that lights a fire in your heart. When you “go” people must see the joy in your heart and the love in your actions, and the passion in your eyes.
Jesus has captured you. Jesus says in John 10:28, “I give eternal life to them (his sheep, those of us who are saved) and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand.” And again in John 15:16, Jesus says, “You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit–fruit that will last.” Why not allow His story capture you?
If you’re going to make disciples, you need to tell the right story. Teach what Jesus taught, follow His instructions and share the details of His story and how it captured your life and transformed you into a committed follower.
Probably the most important thing to remember, if you choose to follow Jesus command and “Go” is that you’re never alone. That’s just not a handy thing to say, it is a promise from God and the last thing Jesus told His disciples. Jesus said in V20, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Knowing that you’re not going alone will enable you to live expectantly and enthusiastically and remain energized for the task at hand.
You have your assignment. You are fully equipped. You have all the instructions and the details. You have Jesus with you every step of the way.
Now, will you go?