If you had just one last moment to share something with your family and friends, what would it be? I know this may sound like a morbid exercise, but think for a moment: if I only had one last opportunity to share something with my kids, one last breath to instill a value in them, what would I say? This is the frame of mind we must adopt when approaching Matthew 28: 19 and 20. Its not just the very last verse of the book, but some of Jesus’ last words to his disciples, and to us, on this earth. “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me”, Jesus says. “Go, therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing then in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, the end of the age”.
Three key points to Jesus’ message jump out at me. First, he confirms the answer to the question the whole region had been asking since his first miracle: Are you really the Son of God? Jesus now claims the authority of God the Father, having defeated death and risen from the grave! He truly is the Son of God! Second, we hear his charge to us: Go! Take the truth we know and share it; and not just with those who look like us and sound like us, but to all the nations! What started in Jerusalem was never meant to stay there. Salvation came from the Jews, for the whole world! Last, sensing the fear in their hearts upon hearing so great a task, he reminds them, and us, of the promise of his presence. He does not send us on a mission simply on his behalf, but he comes alongside us every step of the way. As his children, there will never be a moment in which he leaves us, no matter how many times we fail or how far we stray. Our God will always be with us.
May these words remind you of the gospel message today: Jesus is Lord. Go and tell. He is with you!
Have you shared the good news of the gospel with someone lately? Why not make a list of two or three people that you would like to build a relationship that would allow you to engage them in spiritual conversations? Pray for them and watch how quickly those opportunities come your way.