“All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
Go therefore and make disciples…” (Matthew 28:18-19).
Go therefore and make disciples….
What a privilege and responsibility is implied in these few words, some of the last spoken by the resurrected Jesus before His ascension. We know them as “The Great Commission,” where Jesus sent out His followers (both the ones living on earth at that time and all of us to come) to preach the gospel to every nation, tribe, and tongue on the planet, and to train and teach new converts to become disciplined followers of Christ. But today I want to focus on the second word in that statement: therefore.
Many of us have heard the admonition that when we come across the word therefore in the Scriptures, we should go back and see what it’s “there for.” This instance is certainly no exception. When Jesus said, “Go therefore and make disciples,” He was instructing His listeners to go because He (Jesus) had been given “all authority…in heaven and on earth.” That pretty well sums it up, doesn’t it? What other authority is there? None! He was given it ALL by His Father in heaven, and He was explaining to His disciples that they too could call on that same authority as they went forth to fulfill the Great Commission.
That’s a powerful thought, isn’t it? We aren’t preaching the gospel or discipling people on our own authority (and if we’re trying to do so, it’s not going to work); we are commissioned to do it in the very same authority that was given to the resurrected Savior. The fact that He was already resurrected makes His power over death a given within that authority.
And that’s the key, beloved. How often have we as believers, when called to some area or aspect of fulfilling the Great Commission, felt completely inadequate to do so? Good! That’s exactly as it should be. You and I have no power, no authority, no talents or gifts or abilities to fulfill that calling. But when we understand that the word therefore was placed in that sentence to remind us that we are to go forth in the same authority that rested upon Jesus—that same authority that includes triumph over death—the feelings of inadequacy melt away and we step out in faith and joy.
May it be so in whatever God has called you to today, dear friends. He does not expect you to attempt to answer that call in your own strength—in fact, He doesn’t want you to! He expects you only to humbly submit to His call and His power and His authority…and then rejoice in His victory as you behold His mighty hand at work in and through you.
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Copyright 2009 Kathi Macias, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored 26 books. Her newest books are:
“Beyond Me. Living a You-first Life in a Me-first World”
“Mothers of the Bible Speak to Mothers of Today” (New Hope Publishers) The author can be reached at: http://www.kathimacias.com