We have a brief pause this week in our study. This Sunday the next book for our Life Groups will be introduced. If you are not participating in a Life Group, please follow the link at the bottom of this blog to find one. This past Sunday was Global Missions. If you missed the sermon, you can find it here.
Go! by John Peavy
Having looked at why we study the Bible last week and given our focus on global missions, it seemed appropriate to exam what we are supposed to do with our knowledge of the bible. For mature Christians, the benefits of applying biblical principles are well known and enjoyed as part of a life that holds joy (even in the hardest times), wisdom for all the issues that really matter, and which draws closer to God every day. But what do we do with that? I think the answer lies in Matthew 28:18-20. This passage is often referred to as the “Great Commission.”
In this passage, we find the disciples coming to the realization of who Jesus really is. In the last several days they saw Him celebrated, betrayed, beaten, crucified, buried, and now risen. The Holy Spirit has not yet been sent, so they are still relying upon their own understanding and memory of what transpired (John 14:26). So Jesus is speaking to a group of men who are still scared, confused, and even doubtful.
Jesus begins by establishing the authority by which He is giving this command. It is the authority given to Him by God the Father and not upon Jesus own will, but, rather in continued obedience to His Father’s will. It is the authority over heaven and earth. We should also understand that this, because Jesus is acting in accordance with God’s will, is an extension of God’s command to Jesus onto us as His disciples.
However, as is often true with bible passages, Matthew Henry’s commentary points out that there is more than one truth to understand in this passage. Jesus is giving a command to go. It is important to note that the direction for us to go is unto all the nations. That would include across the room to our family, across the street to our neighbors, and wherever else we find ourselves. But He is also encouraging us as well. This is similar to a father calling for a child who cannot swim to jump into the water. There is a command to obedience, but there is also an encouragement that he is already there to protect them from harm and assist when needed. As I recall my first few times trying to share the gospel, I know that it was a very similar feeling of fear and insecurity. Perhaps this is why Jesus starts establishing His authority to give the command and ends with the reassurance that He will be with us to the end of the age. As I read that last sentence, I hear the echoes of John 16:33 when Jesus assured the disciples that He had overcome the world.
I am often reminded that as a disciple, I am called to be a witness and an ambassador. Neither of these roles carry any authority of my own. Both of these require me to carry the message of Christ’s authority and at His will. So, bringing others to Christ is not dependent upon me. Instead, I am called to bear witness to what the Holy Spirit is doing in that life by delivering Christ’s message of hope and salvation as an explanation of the work already done by the Holy Spirit in them. We have no problem understanding this concept in material ways. An example would be if you were the person carrying balloons and an oversized check for one of those big prize companies while ringing the doorbell of the next big winner. You did not have to fund the check, blow up the balloons, or even pick the winner. All you have to do is go share the good news. Do you think they ever worry about what the person answering the door will say or do? Sharing Christ is even easier because you will never go to the wrong door and the reward is far greater than anything that can be written on a check.
Things to Know:
- If you are not involved in a Life Group you can find a complete listing of our Life Groups by clicking HERE
- You can get a member book for the study at the Life Group table in the Worship Center this Sunday.