The last spoken words of Jesus, just before His ascension, contained all of these action verbs. It wasn’t simply “to believe” or “to have faith.” Sure, those were fundamental to going, making, baptizing, teaching, and obeying – but there was to be more to our followship of Him. When I read Matthew 28 and what we often refer to as The Great Commission I am reminded of an earlier statement that Jesus made to all who have freely received: “to whom much is given, much more will be required.” If we have truly received the Salvation of the Lord – if we are “in” Him and have the grace and love of God that has transformed us, and now empowers us – we know we have received much, much more than we deserve. I know what I deserve – the exact opposite of what Christ has done. But because I have confessed, professed, and surrendered, I am His; I belong to Him.
These days, I have found myself in Matthew’s Gospel consistently. In fact, I am going back in my own devotional time and seeking the Lord’s lead and direction through this Gospel treasure. I start by reading Matthew 28:16-20 each time, so that I will remember the Master’s commission to us all. There are days, personally and in ministry, where that passage coupled with the Spirit’s presence reaffirm in my heart the “why” and “how” of ministry. Why? Because Jesus called and commanded us to. How? Knowing that He is with us, and then, going…making…baptizing…teaching…obeying. When we are rightly related to Him and we are lifting up His Name, I can tell you: There is nothing like it in the world, and we will not grow weary.
Thank You, Lord, for your mercy and grace – that could save and sanctify even me. Today, go with me and before me so that all I do and say glorifies You and helps to fulfill Your vision of reaching souls. In Jesus’ Name. Amen!