Jesus' last words to His disciples in Matthew 28:18-20 are 'All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.' The phrase that I am reflecting on today is 'All authority has been given to Me...' Why did Jesus include this phrase before He gave us our instructions about the Great Commission? Because He knew that the biggest obstacle to the gospel going forth would be our own personal and paralyzing fears of stepping out and sharing the good news.
Jesus is telling us that when we go out into the world and seek to bring forth His good news of salvation for all mankind, that we go in His authority and strength and power and not our own. In one of our Sunday morning classes yesterday, Ryan Highley, one of our teachers, was sharing about Joshua who came after Moses as Israel's leader. Joshua was charged with conquering the land of Canaan for Israel, a land full of fortified cities and armies. God told Joshua that He would be with Him, that no one would be able to stand against him, and that every place 'on which the sole of his foot would tread' He would give to Joshua and his people. Joshua took the Lord at His Word and the Lord came through on His promise. Will we take Jesus at His word today? Am I willing to step out and still believe that the Resurrected Christ can invade my neighborhood and bring hope, invade marriages and bring reconciliation, invade my extended family and bring salvation and continue to invade my own life bringing renewal and passion? Let's not shrink back in fear any longer....Let's take Jesus at His Word and boldly hold out the only hope for the world around us!
Going out in His authority,