Jesus came to them and said

God always meets us in the in-between. That’s where life happens, shaping the hills and the valleys. Our character is formed, our calling is reinforced, and our confidence is established in the events that connect the big defining moments together.

While reading one of my favorite, and also extremely familiar passages in Scripture, God reminded me that what we may not have memorized in Scripture is still significant, even though the words may not get posted on the bulletin board.

All Scripture is God-breathed. Every single word is meaningful, because God made sure it was there.

Life begins in God’s very Word. His very breath gives us life, meaning, purpose and direction. His Words matter.

The last God-inspired words Matthew wrote in his Gospel were also some of the last words Jesus spoke on earth before He ascended into Heaven. 

Matthew captures the moment in Chapter 28:16-20.

Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

While reading this passage again this past week, it was the in-between words that caught my attention.

Jesus came to them and said

The disciples had come to the place Jesus had told them to go, and He showed up. In the midst of their worship and their lingering doubts, Jesus came to them and spoke life, purpose and love.

Jesus came.
Immanuel, God with us, came. He had defeated sin, death and hell, and He came back. He drew close.

Jesus came to them.
Here were the 11 disciples, going to where Jesus had told them to go. The whirlwind they had just gone through the last 40 days was unimaginable. The arrest, crucifixion, death and burial, then resurrection of the man they had followed and given their life to was like whiplash to their souls. Maybe in this moment, they were hoping for an Elijah experience, and to hop a fiery ride up to heaven with their Risen Lord. As they knelt to worship, fear and doubt crept into the corners of some of their hearts. And yet, even in their weakness of faith, Jesus came to them. He came for them.

Jesus came to them and said.
Jesus came for them to experience His presence and His purpose. The Word of God spoke. The life-giving Savior, THE Word, opened His mouth and gave them the commission, command and confidence that only The Word could.

Jesus comes to me, and to you, too. He wants us to be close to Him, and draws us near because He loves us and wants us to know Him. He wants us to hear His voice, His call, and be changed in our response.

In that context, The Great Commission resonates even more deeply.

Because Jesus has ALL authority,
I will go:
make disciples,
baptize,
teach obedience.
And, I am sure
Jesus is with me
ALWAYS.

Jesus came to them and said.

Lord, come to us, even now, and speak.

The Great Promise

My calling is the Great Commission. It’s why I am here, and why you are here, too. God made us to go and grow with Him, and to share the love He so extravagantly poured out for us.

As Christians, we know that the words of Jesus in Matthew 28:19-20 are our marching orders. Yet, so many of our feet are stuck to the ground, motionless and unsure. In our hearts we want to be on mission for Jesus. We want the world to know Him! But, we don’t know where to begin. Go where? Make disciples how? Teach what? The harvest is tremendous, and sometimes it’s overwhelming to be called to something so far beyond our capabilities.

In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus commands us to “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, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” As God has emblazoned His calling and commission on our hearts, He works in ways that we can’t take credit for so that we give Him ALL the glory!! God wants us to step out with Him in faith to the fields white unto harvest, knowing that we can’t do this on our own and must fully rely on Him.

Every command in God’s Word is also a promise. As God calls and commands, He promises. So, when Jesus commands us to GO — He is there guiding, sending, leading, making a way. When He commands us to “make disciples of all nations” — He is there moving hearts, giving us His Words of life, doing miracles, drawing all men to Himself. When He commands us to baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit — He is there witnessing from Heaven and receiving our worship. When He commands us to “teach them to observe all that He commanded” — He is there teaching us, laying out His truth that will not return void, imprinting His Word in hearts and compelling us all to action. And, when Jesus ends this all-consuming, life-changing command with the promise that Jesus HIMSELF is with us always — HE MEANS IT.

This is our calling — this is why we were made — to Go and Grow and give glory to our Savior!

So, when we wake up each morning, it’s an opportunity to go, to share Jesus with our words and with our actions, to let the Gospel overflow our hearts. Let’s start each day asking God to lead us right where we need to be, to give us the words to share that will speak to each person’s heart, to show us how to love people the way Jesus loves them. Pray that God would push us through the doors He’s opened to boldly proclaim the Good News, and invite people to respond. Today, let’s ask God for the opportunities to reach into people’s lives here, and the uttermost places on the earth.

We can “go, therefore” because these verses in Matthew are not only our commission, they are His promise.