By Mike Chaffin
And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:18-20
The last words in Matthew are our marching orders from Jesus. Called the Great Commission, they don’t get much clearer than these, or more important.
It is interesting these last words follow the last words of Malachi where God said He will turn the hearts of the children to the fathers and the fathers to the children. The Apostle John in his letters to the church refers to fathers, young men, and children. He oftentimes calls his readers children. It seems John takes Jesus last words in Matthew and the last words in Malachi and meshes them together, bridging the gap from the Old to the New Testament.
Jesus makes it clear that He has all authority. He is saying, “Listen up, this is important.” Clearly, He is giving His disciples an order just prior to his ascension, but when he adds that He is with us, even to the end of the age, He pulls us into the task the Apostles started when the Holy Spirit filled them on Pentecost; the birth of Christian evangelism.
While we aren’t all called to fill the office of evangelist that doesn’t excuse us from Christ’s order. However, we can’t make disciples if we aren’t disciples ourselves, having matured in the faith. We must be able to explain to others what Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection mean. As disciple makers we are called to observe all things Christ commanded us to do. Those that teach, but don’t do, are called hypocrites.
Our calling to evangelize must follow our calling to learn all we can about how Jesus told us to live. Only then, and through the power of the Holy Spirit, can we be effective witnesses.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for so clearly giving me a goal in life. Not only can I trust in you fully, but I must also tell others about you. Lord, give me insight, knowledge, and discernment to understand all that you teach and command. Fill me today with your Holy Spirit. Lord, when I ask a question about your Word, please illuminate my mind. In Jesus name, amen.