16 Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshipped him, but some doubted. 18 Jesus came near and spoke to them, “I’ve received all authority in heaven and on earth. 19 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, 20 teaching them to obey everything that I’ve commanded you. Look, I myself will be with you every day until the end of this present age.”
A disciple is not just a person who knows some things about Jesus. A disciple intends to follow Jesus in all parts of life. So “making disciples” is not a one-time effort, but a continual choice to invest ourselves in making the lives of others better. According to Jesus' “Great Commission,” that included (and includes) caring about “all nations.” As Paul wrote, after wrestling with questions of identity and faith, “God’s riches, wisdom, and knowledge are so deep!” (Romans 11:33)
Lord Jesus, I need you to stay with me, every day, every minute. Thank you for promising to do just that. Amen.
As we read today’s passage, I wondered how the Disciples got started on their Great Commission some 2,000 years ago. Maybe it went like this:
Welcome to Miracle Travel Services, fellas. What can I do for you?
A world tour? Sounds exciting. Have a seat. Could I interest you in our patented “3D Travel Experience” – Donkeys, Dinghies, & Dromedaries?
What? Oh, Dromedaries is just another word for Camel. I know - kind of confusing. But it is much better than our owner’s first choice – “Travel as Easy as ABC” – with the initials indicating boats & camels, etc.
Now, where exactly do you wish to travel?
All nations of the earth? That is very ambitious. Have you ever traveled outside of Israel before?
Well, yes, I guess going to Jacob’s Well in Samaria counts, but that’s not one of our juicier destinations. Do you have your immunization shots, passports, TSA Precheck forms?
No to all of that. Huh. Do you speak any foreign languages?
No? Um, have you thought of maybe starting small with something like our Red Sea tour? Our guide, Moses, & his staff create a very memorable trip. Or have you seen The Walls of Jericho? Actually, after Joshua no one has! (Laughing) That’s a little travel agent humor.
No, I suppose it wasn’t that funny. Okay. May I ask why you want to embark on such an ambitious itinerary?
Ah, so your Rabbi, Jesus, said to go to all nations of the earth to make Disciples. Wow. He is really a dreamer isn’t He? You’d think He’d say something like start with your friends & family or maybe even your local community - you know, where you can speak the language, are familiar with the customs, & have an idea of the geography. Why would He say all nations?
Huh. So He didn’t want anyone to get the mistaken impression that His love was only for a certain people, or certain geographic region, or certain cultures. His love was available for everyone, & so now you are charged with making sure the entire world hears this Good News?
Oh, not just you. All of His followers have this responsibility? Oh my, how could His believers possibly do that?
Aha. NOW it makes sense. This Jesus is your tour guide, helping you every step of the way as you seek to help build His Kingdom by inviting others to hear the Good News, by showing others what Christ’s love looks like, & by being a role model of the faith. Got it.
Well, I think I can work up a special package for you guys by tomorrow. Thanks for stopping by Miracle Travel Services – remember our motto: “If you enjoyed your trip, then it must have been a Miracle!”
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