Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:20
One for The Road
It was an incredibly long and rocky journey. Jesus and His disciples spent a little over three years doing the work of the Father, and it seemed like an eternity. Jesus completed an important phase of His earthly ministry, and the disciples were able to see themselves for who they really were. The time came for them to separate. They wondered how on earth they would make it without Jesus right by their side. They knew, from experience, that the journey was difficult enough with being able to hear His voice and feel His touch. How would they carry on the seemingly impossible work of worldwide evangelism with Jesus out of their sight?
Jesus understood the mission and knew what He expected of His disciples. He also knew what would come for those who would believe in Him through the disciples’ words. He left them all with these words: “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen” (Matthew 28:20).
They would not be left alone. A new experience in the awesomeness of God was about to begin. Jesus would be with them even though they would not be able to see Him. The ministry of the Holy Spirit would be intensified in their lives. “Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you” (John 16:7).
The Holy Spirit would live in the disciples and amplify the presence of Christ in order for them to accomplish their mission. The early fruit of their labor was all the assurance they needed to know that Jesus was, indeed, with them.
“And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls.
“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers. And fear came upon every soul: and many wonders and signs were done by the apostles. And all that believed were together, and had all things common; And sold their possessions and goods, and parted them to all men, as every man had need. And they, continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, did eat their meat with gladness and singleness of heart, Praising God, and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily such as should be saved” (Acts 2:40-47).
As You Go
As you set out to do the work God has given you to do, be encouraged by the story of the disciples. Know that God will always be with you. Apparent impossibility does not intimidate God. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13).
This has been the gospel according to Matthew. Be transformed by it.