Matthew 28:16-20

The 11 disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw Him, they worshiped, but some doubted. Then Jesus came near and said to them, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 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 everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

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As we look into this passage, we see a scene where the people who followed Christ are gathered at a mountain and they see what appeared to be Jesus, raised from the dead. They began to worship him, but some doubted. Here, I want to state something about doubt, particularly what it means when a Christian doubts. In a fallen world, with a fallen nature, it is actually normal for us to doubt.

Notice here that those who doubted still worshipped despite how they felt. Notice also that Christ gives the same mission to those who doubt as to those who do not. The Christian faith is a recognition that Christ is always faithful, even when our faith is limited by the sinfulness present in this fallen world. When we doubt or when we feel weak or insufficient, know that Christ loves us and desires for us to be a part of what He is doing just as much as those who seem to never doubt or mess up. The faith is not about us, it is about Christ and He is always faithful to those who have believed in Him!

Throughout Matthew’s Gospel, we have seen Jesus’ authority. The crux of Matthew’s argument is that Jesus has the very authority of God and that He has the power to save all people. He is the King of the Jews. In his final challenge to God’s people, Matthew quotes Jesus first saying, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.” Our assignment as people of God comes directly from the fact that Jesus truly does have all authority. We are to make disciples of all nations, teaching them to obey everything that Christ commanded and baptize them in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit because Christ has all authority. The simple fact is: if we truly believe that Christ has all authority, then we will strive to live under that authority, not under our own authority. As we strive to live under Christ’s authority, we will urge others to also strive to live under His authority. We will make disciples, and when we make disciples, we make others disciples of Christ, we don’t give them a message that requires them to depend on us for spiritual sustenance. There’s another side of this coin. If we choose not to make disciples, we insinuate that Christ does not have all authority. If we truly believe that Christ has all authority, we will make disciples. It’s that simple.

We know our mission and we know our God has all authority to lead us to complete that mission. Matthew ends with a promise from Jesus, “I am always with you.” Jesus doesn’t commission us and then step away. He is with us, guiding us, and leading people to Himself as we work to accomplish this mission every day!

 

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