16 “Then the eleven disciples left for Galilee, going to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 “When they saw him, they worshiped him—but some of them doubted!” 18 Jesus came and told his disciples, “I have been given all power in heaven and on earth. 19 Therefore, go and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. 20 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.””
It is here in Matthew 28 that Christ calls His disciples to meet Him on the mountain so that He can commission them to be about His mission. Now suppose that you had just bought a brand new car, I know very few of us do, but myself included. But imagine that you have and you take the instruction manual out and read it, paraphrase it, even writing a commentary on it as you make an outline of the material. You even go as far as to put it into poetry and set it to music so that you can sing about it. You even take time to sit in this new car and admire the beautiful craftsmanship while relaxing in its power reclining seat as you enjoy the rich Dolby surround sound stereo. But you never actually start it up, put it in drive and take the car out. What good would that car be? Even though you know all about the car you have never actually put it to use. No matter how beautiful, or comfortable the car is, it would be useless to you, because it was designed to be put into action and driven not just stared at or sat in. To put it to use and actually get somewhere we all know that we must get in it and drive it. Today many of us are missing the mission because we are approaching Christ’s call the same way, we read about it in God’s Word, some of us even sing about it; but very few actually put it into action. In 1994, over 20 years ago, the Barna Research Group found that among American adults who said that they were “born again,” seventy-five percent couldn’t even define the Great Commission. Sadly, 95% of all Christians have never won a soul to Christ let alone discipled anyone; more than 80% of all Christians do not regularly witness for Christ. It is here in the Great Commission as Christ sums up discipleship that He makes it clear that it is every Christians responsibility to make disciples of all people. In the Great Commission, Christ emphasized the small word “all” three times to convey important truths about the mission He has entrusted to us as His disciples. The fist all is:
1. ALL Power
In Verse 16 we see the disciples respond in obedience to Christ’s call to come and meet Him on the mountain. Upon seeing Jesus they immediately break out in spontaneous worship but even in the praise we are reminded that some still doubted. It is here that we see so often our own sad response to the Redeemer, where one moment we find ourselves in deep devotion and the next we are overtaken by doubt. It’s like looking into the mirror of our own lives where we are faced with the twin realities of our hearts, we start with worship but soon our hearts are ruled by questions and doubt. What is so shocking about their doubt and disobedience is that this comes on the heels of Jesus greatest miracle, being raised back to life, where He conquering sin and death. It doesn’t get any bigger or better than this and yet some still doubted. The same is true for us Jesus shows up in powerful ways, conquering our enemies and disarming our fears and yet in no time at all we respond to His miracles not with marvel but with doubt. So how does Jesus respond to their doubt, He quiets their questions not with a rebuke but by reminding them of His power. Verse 18 says, “ALL POWER has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Jesus reminds them that He holds ALL power not some power or most power, but ALL power. Two Greek words are used in the New Testament; dunamis from which we get words like dynamite, dynamic, and dynamo, and exousia which denotes permission or right, privilege, control. He has the right to command and enforce obedience. Jesus is declaring to His disciples that He had been given “All Power” reminding them that He possessed the divine attribute of Omnipotence. So what is His power sufficient to prevail over, first:
A. ALL MY INIQUITIES.
In Psalm 65:3 the Psalmist writes: “When we were overwhelmed by sins, you forgave our transgressions. There is an intended contrast made by the Psalmist in these two clauses, which are more pointed and emphatic in the original than in our English Bible. They call attention to man’s impotence and God’s power in the face of the fact of sin. The first clause might be translated, with perhaps a little increase of vividness, ‘When my iniquities are too strong for me’; and the next clause ‘as for our transgressions which we cannot touch, ‘you shall forgive and purge them away.’ As Isaiah 1:18 states “Come now, and let us reason together,” says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”. When the true power He possesses penetrates our hearts we will come to understand that there is no sin so great that Christ our Savior can’t forgive it. There is no sin whose chains are so great that Christ cannot unshackle. Only Christ has the power to break our bonds and set us free. As 1 John 1:9 so clearly states: ” If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. Not some sin, or most sin, but ALL sin. In Mark’s Gospel we have the account of a paralytic man who friends sought to bring to Christ for healing. In verse 4 of chapter 2, we pick up the narrative, “And when they could not get near him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him, and when they had made an opening, they let down the bed on which the paralytic lay. And when Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, “Why does this man speak like that? He is blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?” And immediately Jesus, perceiving in his spirit that they thus questioned within themselves, said to them, “Why do you question these things in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Rise, take up your bed and walk’? But that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—he said to the paralytic— “I say to you, rise, pick up your bed, and go home.” And he rose and immediately picked up his bed and went out before them all, so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We never saw anything like this!” Mark 2:4-12. Jesus demonstrated that He has the power over both our sins and our sickness. So what do you need to come to Christ and confess, so that He can break the shackles of sin in your life? Many of us are living powerless lives today because we are not walking in the freedom of forgiveness. For some it is because we have never confessed and come clean before Christ. As a result we are trading true freedom for faking. Instead of living on mission we are wearing masks. Instead of faking it to make it we need to seek His forgiveness and start faithing it. What about you are you living in the power of forgiveness or the prison of faking?