Christ Has Commissioned His Saints To Do A Job
“And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, "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 of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Amen.” Matt 28:18-20 (NKJV)
“The Church is the People united by the unity of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.” [1 Cor. 12:13.]
“The ekklesia is called to embody Jesus Christ, as a bride, a house, a body, and a family. This is God’s Eternal Purpose.”
Christ the Lord: Jesus Christ received “all power in heaven and on earth.” And what did He do with it? He shared it. He delegated His apostles to extend His Kingdom to all nations, promising to be present with them and to act through them. Jesus makes it abundantly clear that He is the Lord. Instead of constricting the lives of His subjects through oppression and arrogance, He expanded their horizons. He gave them a meaning and purpose far beyond anything they could have ever come up with on their own. Through obedience to Christ, these eleven Galileans have become collaborators with the Blessed Trinity, ambassadors of God Himself. Such is the generosity of the one who is our Lord. [compare 2 Cor. 5:19-21.]
Making disciples cannot be done in the strength of man, but only in the power of God. The Christ raised up from death is the power in our Christian life and mission. His Resurrection is not past/future, but NOW - always present with us and in us! Note Paul: “always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body.” 2 Cor 4:10 (NKJV)
How ironic was it that the chief priests and Pharisees, so eager for glory and influence, passed up the chance to be given such an exalted role! Having closed their eyes to Christ’s light over and over again, they ended up blinding themselves completely to the truth. They refused to accept even the very sign they had twice asked for – the sign of Jonah [Matt. 12:38-40]. “But you will not come to Me that you might have life.” [John 5:39-40.]
Christ the Teacher: The Incarnation was God’s saving invasion into this fallen world. The Church is the extension of that invasion throughout all time and space. Christ came to reunite God and men, to lead us back into communion with the holy joys of the Christian life. “That the world through Him might be saved” [John 3:16-17].
By putting His power behind the Church’s effort of baptizing, teaching, and making disciples, Jesus teaches us the proper scale of values. Christ is focused on building His Kingdom, which consists of human hearts united to God through friendship with Him. And where human hearts are united to God, they will also be united to one another.
If building that Kingdom was and is Christ’s primary concern, it needs to be ours too. “But seek first the
righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Matt 6:33 (NKJV) When He puts His power behind the mission of
the Church, He is practicing what He Himself preached. kingdom
Christ the Friend: Baptism inaugurates the soul’s life of grace, its life of intimate friendship with God. When we are baptized, we inherit individually Christ’s promise to be with us “until the end of the age.” When fire penetrates iron, the iron becomes fiery hot without ceasing to be iron. Just so our human nature, body & soul, in its union with Christ becomes like God without ceasing to be human.
“Spirit of adoption” [Romans 8:15-16]. He sustains us throughout our difficult and wonderful earthly pilgrimage. He is with us through his Scriptural Word. And He is with us by being always within us. We have become temples of the Holy Spirit, as Paul put it [1 Cor 3:16]. God has taken up His dwelling in the very core of our being.
Jesus is saying: “I will not leave you comfortless. You never have to be alone. I am the one who knows you better than you know yourself and loves you with an infinite, crucified, unconditional love, and I am your constant companion. None of the restrictions of human friendship (time, space, disloyalty, miscommunication, selfishness, etc.) apply. You are wholly mine, and I am wholly yours. The perfect family of the Trinity has adopted you into our midst; such is the love of your incomparable Friend.” [compare John 15:15-17.]
Christ in My Life: “Lord, I believe in Your presence and Your power, and I want to walk in Your light. I want to be the saint You made me to be. Only saints do anything for Your Kingdom, and only Your Kingdom will last forever. Show me, Lord, the way I need to go. With the knowledge of Your heart, make my heart wise…building up the Church, expanding Your Kingdom, leading others to Your friendship… You have given me a share in this mission! Thank You for calling me to follow You. Teach me to put things in this perspective. Lift up my eyes from the mud of the earth. I hope in You, Lord, my Savior and King…”