Day 46 :: Get to Work
”All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…”
Many moons ago, when I played rugby, I always appreciated clear and direct coaching. The best coaches were the ones who explained simply what tactics or skills they thought we should work on and helped us along the way. Occasionally we’d have a younger, less experienced coach who would be evidently floundering through a training session. The better coaches got the best out of the team.
I suppose it is the same in any walk of life. When people are given clear direction and expectations, combined with any equipment and help they need along the way, they will flourish, regardless of how tough the task may seem.
Before Jesus returned to sit at his Father’s side, he gathered his disciples and gave them work to do. As they got together on a hillside in Galilee, some fell in worship as they saw Jesus, but some still had doubts.
”All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth.”(v18)
Jesus begins by stating his credentials, as if he needed to. I think he did it for his followers’ benefit though. It set the tone for what was to come. The start point for the job is that Christ is Lord of all. He’s the boss. He’s in charge. He calls the shots. Not the disciples. Not me.
“Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations…”(v19)
In light of Jesus being Lord of all, they were to go to the whole world and make disciples. Not just converts, but disciples. Jesus wasn’t asking them to see how many folks they could persuade to sign on the dotted line. Disciples were to completely drop everything, pick up their crosses, and follow.
These folks listening to Jesus had laid it all on the line. They gave up careers, families, homes and followed Jesus. They might not have understood all that was going to be ahead, but they heard him call, and followed. Now they were to call others to do the same.
”…baptising them… teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you.”(v19-20)
These new disciples were to be baptised and taught. Baptism was the initial sign that they had turned in faith and repentance, picked up their cross and followed. Then they were also to be taught to obey all that Jesus had taught. Disciples get baptised, learn what it means to be a disciple, and obey it.
The job was clear and concise enough, but it was a massive ask. Going to the whole world to call people to give their whole lives to this guy who had been hung on a cross?! That's a ridiculously tough task!
”And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”(v20)
These disciples were given a job they could never complete on their own. But Jesus would equip and help them until the job is done.
A good rugby coach helped our teams play a bit better, but they couldn’t actually come on the pitch and do the job for us. With Jesus, he’s the one who will make it all happen. By his Spirit he is in us and with us, will provide everything we need, and will work in the lives of those around us to make disciples.
Jesus is Lord. He’s alive, and reigns sovereignly for all eternity. He calls us to go and share the Good News of all he has done, baptising and teaching others to follow him.
We’ve spent Lent looking at Jesus, now let’s get to work, knowing that what he has started, he’ll finish!
Passages to read: Matthew 28:16-20
A thought to remember: Jesus sends his disciples out to make disciples.
A question to ask: What will it look like for you to go and make disciples today?
A song to sing: Facing a Task Unfinished