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 authority 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.”
They went to the mountain they worshipped the Messiah and third they were a:
3. Witness to the Master
Its here that the Almighty gives them their assignment but notice that Jesus doesn’t start with the assignment he starts with His:
Jesus deals with doubting disciples by reminding them of his position and power. He doesn’t just have authority He has all authority. Because of his power and position we are called to pursue His purpose. What voice are you going to listen to, the voice of doubt and fear or that of your Father? We are a power seeking people and God does give power but only after we have received authority. If we are going to receive legitimate authority, we must receive it from Him. Let me help you distinguish between power and authority. Imagine you were going to cross the street and suppose that a large truck was coming and you decide to stop it. You place your hands against it, and you stop it right? Well, of course you don’t it would run you over because you cannot out power a truck on your best day. But I have seen people step out in the middle of a busy street, hold up their arm and big powerful diesel trucks come to a stand still. What’s the difference? The one holding up their hand is wearing a police officer’s uniform. He has been invested with authority to carry out His assigned task. That officer doesn’t necessarily have more power but He has been given more authority, so that he might preform the task he has been given to accomplish. The centurion with the dying servant knew what authority was all about. In Luke 7:1-10 he asked Jesus to only say the word and it will be done. He was a man that had authority because he was under authority. We too, if we will reside under the authority of Jesus, will have His authority to carry out the task He assigns us to do. Many of us are not accomplishing what Christ has called us to do because we have not come under the authority of Jesus Christ. While we reside within our own power and ability we will only accomplish the temporary and the trivial. You can’t live out what the Lord calls you to do unless you are living under His Lordship. Who or what is the authority in your life?
“Therefore…” Because of His authority, Jesus has the right to reign supreme and to give commands to His church. Everything He says, and all that we have been given to do, is based upon His universal and unquestioned Lordship. His plan starts first with:
“Go…” This literally means, “as you go” or “in your going.” In other words, we are to make disciples in the natural course of our lives, wherever we go. Our moment on the mountain should cause us to move forward. Our problem is that we want to come to Christ for comfort not for a commission. But when we refuse to move we don’t just stand still we stagnate. We must move if we are to accomplish the mission. But today the church has turned the great commission into the great omission. Go is not a suggestion it’s a command.
“Make disciples…” This is the only command in this passage; the other words revolve around disciple-making. We are to go in order to make disciples. We are to baptize disciples. And we are to teach disciples to obey. A disciple is literally a “learner,” one who is being mentored by the Master. We are to do more than just evangelize, we must equip and edify so that new converts are encouraged to reproduce themselves.
“Of all nations…” The task of making disciples must extend to the ends of the earth. The word “nations” in the Greek is where we get the word ethnic. It refers to “people groups,” not just countries. Our task is not just to make disciples in the 193 countries of the world, but to go to the over 16,000 distinct people groups scattered across the continents. We are to share the Savior with our neighbors but I fear that we as American Christians have lost sight of the fact that there are thousands of people dying without Christ every day and waking up to the horrors of hell. What percentage of the world’s population resides in the United States? Just 4%, and yet we often act like we are the center of the universe. We must take the gospel to the globe! That’s why we support missions, but its more than just giving our money we need to be willing to give our lives.
“Baptizing them…” Baptism is a symbol of our salvation. That we have died to sin and are now separated from the world free to serve the Savior. Its where we pledge allegiance to the Almighty, an outward expression of an inner confession. All believers are called to be baptized, so if you claim to be a believer have you been baptized?
“teach them to obey…” Teaching is meant to be transformational not informational. We are not interested in just filling heads; we want filled up hearts and faithful feet that obey. Jesus doesn’t end with the assignment lastly we see the:
God’s assignment is sandwiched between His authority and His assurance. What Jesus promises to His disciples is not only the most precious promise it’s also the most powerful promise, His presence. The companionship of Christ, that we are not alone in the assignment. The word always means all the days. Days of strength as well as days of sickness. Days of success as well as days of struggle, days of plenty as well as poverty. Regardless of the circumstances we have Christ. If we are going to faithfully fulfill the assignment to go and to share the Savior then we need to listen to both the voice of authority as well as the voice of assurance. For some of you today you need to get going which means you need to listen to His voice of Authority, while for others you need to keep going and you need to listen to His voice of assurance.