“Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28: 18 – 20
Don’t we all love the song, “I Can Only Imagine”? Such a beautiful vision comes to mind as we listen to the words and wonder what it will truly be like when we see the Son, Jesus Christ, for the very first time. We can close our eyes and wonder as the song asks, “Will we dance with joy, fall to our knees, sing Hallelujah, or simply stand in silent awe of His glory?” It is truly hard to imagine, isn’t it?
But have you ever wondered what He will do or say when He first sees each of us? I once read this thought, “Wonder if you were to arrive in heaven, and Jesus were to say to you, ‘My child, you are here, I have so much to show you, but first I have one question to ask, How many people did you tell about Me?’ ” Oh, what a humbling and painful thought! How our minds would go to all the opportunities we missed and the time we wasted!
Yet, we are called to be witnesses through our words and deeds to those around us by our Savior Himself. We have heard the good news and have experienced the freedom and joy that can be ours through Christ, and we have been given a mandate and a mission as Christians to share His love and grace with others. It is given to us in this Scripture passage from Matthew, and it is known as “The Great Commission” (also recorded in the Gospel of Mark).
After Jesus’s death and resurrection, before his ascension into heaven, He gave His apostles these words: “Go . . . and make disciples . . .” This is a message for us, as well. Wherever we go, we are to share the good news of His saving grace to others when we have the opportunity.
But what a difficult task it seems for us. Perhaps it’s because we are embarrassed or we don’t want to impose our faith on others. Maybe it is because we feel inadequate and we want to leave it to those who are more knowledgeable about Scripture or have more experience. Or maybe we have tried to witness in the past and we failed. But the best news of all is that we don’t have to do it in our own strength. He will do the work for us. We’re just the “feet on the ground”. All He wants is our willingness! He will help us do the rest!
We all aren’t called to be missionaries and share His message of love and hope around the world, but we all can witness to His grace in our own little corner of the world. We can show the face of Jesus Christ through our kindness and generosity, through teaching Sunday School, working in a food pantry, singing songs about His love, or even telling our story of what God has done in our lives during some difficult situation. Or just by the way we live our day to day lives might make someone who doesn’t know Christ stop and think about wanting what we have – the joy, peace, and contentment of life with Him. What a gift we have to share!
Dear Lord, how humbled we are by these words and your mandate to us. In the midst of a world screaming for answers – for love, compassion, understanding, hope, comfort, strength, and peace, we have the responsibility and privilege of sharing the news of your saving grace and love. Help us to use those opportunities that come before us and to use your Spirit to give us the means to do so. In your most holy name. Amen