Today in God’s Word
Judges 1; Acts 5; Jeremiah 14; Matthew 28
In Matthew 28 we see the risen Lord in Galilee with his disciples, just as he had promised them before his death in Matt 26:32. Now he stands before them declaring that all authority in heaven and on earth has been given to him and based upon this authority he commissions them to make for himself disciples among all nations. He further instructs them to baptize them and to teach them. They are to be baptized in the name of the triune God and they are to be taught to obey everything Jesus has commanded. The final statement in Matthew’s gospel is one of promise and hope…Jesus declares to the disciples whom he has just tasked with the impossible, “And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The Son of Man has authority of the spiritual and over the physical. Jesus has conquered death and sin and there is no enemy that withstands him. He is unstoppable and indestructible. He declares his authority, I believe, to empower and convince his disciples that there is no reason to be ashamed of the cross or the gospel and that there is every reason to boldly go forth and risk all for their king, who has supreme power and authority over the entirety of creation. He wants the sign that was posted over his head on that cross to ring in their minds and to give breath to their tired lungs. He is indeed the king of the Jews, he is the King of kings and Lord of lords, and to him alone every knee will bow and every tongue will confess!
The disciples were previously told to go only unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel, but now they are sent to the ends of the earth. The sin and failure of Israel has become the means of the salvation of the world (see Romans 11)! Note that they were merely to “proclaim the kingdom” before Jesus was crucified (Matt 10:6-7) but now they are to make disciples. Now the authority of the Lamb of God has empowered them to seek a response from the hearer and to enlist them as disciples through the ordinance of Baptism by the name of the triune God.
Disciples of Jesus are still under this commission and still carry this authority. Let us live as though we stood in the presence of the risen Lord there in Galilee and heard these words from his mouth…”Go therefore and make disciples of all nations…”. He has spoken to us, he is with us in Spirit and authority, and he is coming back for us in person.
Soli Deo Gloria!