Empowered for Missions
We have spent two weeks looking at the Great Commission on Matt.28:18-20. Jesus’ command to his followers to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them and teaching everything he had commanded. Last week we talked about the responsibility of every disciple of Jesus to learn the Word of God in order to teach others. The Great Commission is the mission of every follower of Jesus; we are to multiply ourselves as we make disciples of all ethnic groups on this planet.
The latter part of the Great Commission is very important to keep in mind. Verse 20 Jesus said “Teaching them to keep everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always to the very end of the age.”
Surely (behold, pay attention to what follows) I am with you always.
The Great Commission started with the words of Jesus “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me……. Then Jesus ends with a reassuring phrase. “I am with you always to the very end of the age” Jesus reassures us that he is with us every step of the way in our mission to make disciples.
From the very beginning God has been on missions. God would not send you to do something without his provision.
When Yahweh met with Jacob (Israel) Gn.28: 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land, I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
When God sent Moses to Egypt to get his people. Ex.3:12. Moses said to God, who am I that I should go to Pharaoh. God promised “I will be with you.”
Ex.33:14 The LORD replied, “My presence will go with you and will give rest” This is where Moses told God is your presence doesn’t go with us, then don’t send us because we are not going if you’re not coming.
Moses later on told Joshua that God would go with him Det.31:7-8 Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the Lord swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. 8The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”
God himself told Joshua to be strong and courageous that he would be with him. Jos.1:5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Jesus told his disciples, I am with you always. Matt.28:20
Jesus promised his followers to be with them as they carry out the mission of making disciples in the world. His presence is with us; this should give us all the confidence in the world.
We are empowered by Christ to accomplish this mission; his presence is with us always. We should not fear the obstacles, the challenges and danger we’ll face in our telling others about Jesus. It was the courage of Jesus’ apostles and disciples, empowered by his presence, the Holy Spirit that ignited a fire in the first century that affected the whole world.
We can’t make disciples on our own power and abilities. It is Jesus working in us that accomplishes his purposes. So when times get tough, we must remember that he is with us. He is not leaving us or forsaking us. We are not alone in this world.
We learned that the Great Commission is global because it includes people from every nation on earth. Jesus tells us here that this mission is not forever. There will come a day that we won’t have to make more disciples, or preach to people about Jesus. Until the very end of the age.
This age, time and space will come to an end one day; when that happens then no more disciples will be made. When Jesus Christ comes back our preaching and prayers will cease.
The mission to make disciples is until we die or Jesus comes again. For two thousand years, the church has been making disciples empowered by the Holy Spirit and the church, you and I will continue to do so until the end of this age.
This mission is accomplished at the end. Rev.7:9. After this I looked, and there before me was a great multitude that no one could count, from every nation, tribe, people and language, standing before the throne and before the Lamb. They were wearing white robes and were holding palm branches in their hands.
Jesus is with us for a long as we live in this world; he is going with us as we fulfill his mission. We should be strong and courageous for he is with us. He was with the apostles when they began to preach in the first century. He was with Stephen even when he was being stoned to death; he was with Paul even when he went to prison, and endured hardships for his name. These people faced death courageously because God’s presence was with them. His going with us doesn’t mean that everything will go well in life; it doesn’t mean we won’t experience hardships and rejection. It means we have his power to get us through any trials and difficulty; it means we are empowered to represent him and to live lives for him. Moses said it is your presence that sets us apart from all the nations of the earth. It separates us from the rest of the world; it is his presence that provides us with the strength, endurance, peace in the midst of chaos, peace in the midst of the storm. Jesus is at work in the lives of his disciples today; he wasn’t playing when he said, I am with you always until the very end of this age. God is on the move today.