Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all authority in heaven and on earth. Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. Teach these new disciples to obey all the commands I have given you. And be sure of this: I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20
Final words are important. When someone realizes their time on earth has come to an end, they sense what truly matters and attempt to express these words of wisdom to family and friends. With this in mind, greater attention should be spent unlocking the final of words of Jesus, most commonly referred to as the Great Commission.
Jesus gathers His disciples together to give them a few closing instructions regarding how to live and act after He parts from them. He commands them to go and make disciples. Similar to a father handing his teenage son or daughter the keys to the family car for the first time, Jesus is passing the torch to the disciples and charging them with being His representatives on earth.
In essence, Jesus is saying, “Here are the keys to kingdom now go put your faith in action.”
As we look at the keys we hold in our hands, we need to pause and reflect on how we are stewarding this responsibility. The church has the only message which possesses the power to change the human heart, heal a wounded soul, turn hatred into love and comfort the grieving.
Even though we know this is true if we're honest, we don’t want to go out into the world; we want to stay where we won’t be stretched. "To go" can be risky, uncomfortable, costly and unsafe. But, go we must. It’s not the Great Suggestion or the Great Recommendation; it’s the Great Commission – it’s a command.
Many of us, myself included, underestimate the influence we carry as Christ followers. God has trusted us with the influence of His love and the integrity of His image. We have to look at everything we have and ask, “what is this for?” How can we begin to leverage what God has given us: our family, resources, time, wisdom, and gifts? How do we take what God has done in us individually and give it away to others? Answering these questions can be dangerous because they encourage us to leave the protected cocoon of certainty, control, and convenience.
But, we'll never experience the freedom of the open road if we're not willing to put the keys into drive and go.
What are you doing with this message of hope?
God, let me not take lightly the message I am broadcasting to the world through my attitude, actions and words. When people look at me, my prayer is that they would see You and Your love. Open my eyes to the opportunities around me to serve and make an impact. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.