Today’s reading is Matthew 28.
As we focus on Jesus’ words in our recent Bible Journal posts, Matthew 28 refers to what is commonly called “The Great Commission” from Jesus.
18 And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
Scholars have differing opinions on whether these were Jesus’ last words, but I don’t think any of them can argue over the importance of them considering the fact that these are the words the Bible says He told the disciples after the resurrection both here in Matthew 28 and in Mark 16.
Why is so hard to talk about our faith and share the gospel with others? I know I struggle with this, as I’m sure most reading this do. Most Christians have never been on a mission trip at all, let alone one where true evangelism is included. Most Christians have likely never witnessed to a non-believer…even those they may be very close with. At a very young age we’re commonly taught that you don’t bring up politics and religion at social, and even family, gatherings. Yes…these can be sensitive topics which can get people fired up, but I think the main reason we struggle is fear. We wonder what they will think about us. We wonder if we will say the right thing. We don’t think we know our Bible well enough to answer questions they might ask us. We wonder if we are worthy to speak the gospel because of the sin in our life which they also might even know and call us out. Do you notice the theme here? All of these reasons are about us..not about the individual we’re sharing with. All our concerns are selfish. Fear is always about you. But, what is more important..the potential negative impact to you or their eternal life? When we genuinely love and focus on others fear goes away.
What is a common trait of great leaders? I would sum it up into 2 words…servant leadership. No one models this better than Jesus. It says here in Matthew 28:18 “all authority in heaven and on earth” has been given to Him. Yet, we read in John 13 where one of the last things Jesus does before He’s captured is wash his disciples’ feet. Now, I’m not sure how much you would have to pay me to wash 12 of my closest friends’ feet now…let alone in the days when there were only sandals and they walked and rode camels everywhere. Ultimately, Jesus shows us the greatest act of servant leadership possible by laying down His life for us. Jesus states here He was given “all authority in heaven and on earth,” yet He washes dirty feet and lays down His life. Wow. It’s really hard to comprehend isn’t it? Is that what you would do if you had all the authority in heaven and on earth?
Great, servant leaders are with you through the best and worst of times. They are with you in the trenches and on the mountain tops. How cool is it that the king of Heaven and Earth says, “…I am with you always, until the end of the age!” Is there anything more we can really ask from Him in this life until we meet Him again than that?
As we finish this week, let’s remember life is not about you..it’s never been about you. Jesus showed us what life was really about and that’s love..love for others. Perfect love casts out fear. Is there anything we can do more to show our love for others than to share the Good News and help give them the gift of eternal life? Live the mission.