Matthew 28:16-20 (ESV)
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
(This is part 4 of our multi-part series on The Great Commission)
The last words in the Gospel of Matthew are the words of Jesus, and they are a striking promise.
And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.
A striking promise of faithfulness, from Jesus, who is God, who lived a perfect life, died a horrible death, yet rose again as prophesied on the third day.
The words could not be clearer. Jesus is with us always.
Not just on Sundays, or Saturdays, or just when we are praying. Jesus is with us always. We may only go to him once a day, once a week, or even less – but He has promised to remain faithful to us, and be with us always.
And it is these words that bookend what we call the ‘great commission’.
All authority has been given to Me….I will be with you always.
The great commission is not just a call to go and do things, but go and do them knowing that we are commanded by one who has all authority, and will be with us always.
Let’s just spend one minute on that. If He is with us always, He is with us during all our personal trials. He is with us when we are up, and when we are down. He is with us when we think we are alone, or when we are surrounded by others.
He is with us when we speak to others about Him. He is with us when we pray with others, teach others, disciple others and baptize others.
And some of these things aren’t easy. Sharing your faith with someone is not an easy task, and is often met with rejection, skepticism, and in some parts of the world severe persecution.
But we know this – not only are we commanded, the One who commanded is with us, and He has all authority. The circumstances of life in this fallen world may not be good (and probably won’t be good), but Jesus is with us, guiding us, teaching us, leading us to the place He wants us to be, to the place that will bring the greatest impact – whether we can see it or not.
Jesus has all authority – and will be with you always.
All that is left now is for you (and me) to go.