Lent – Day 20: Thursday, 11 March
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshipped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.’
It is amazing that Matthew lets those words at the end of verse 17 remain in the text. Here is the Risen Lord, worthy of all worship, honour and praise, and in this special place, the spot from where Jesus’ feet left the earth, and are to return, there are still doubters. Thomas perhaps wasn;t so bad, after all.
We know the story, we know what we’re meant to believe, but sometimes we find it hard to believe, or there may be bits that we still struggle with. What’s not to believe about a man who said he would be put to death and would rise after three days (O yeah!)? Except that that’s what did happen. We weren’t there, and our belief has to be tried in acts of faith on our part. Did Jesus rise from death – can you plant a grain of faith and ask God to make it a reality in your head and heart? Did Jesus ascend to heaven? If you believe he rose, then it’s in for a penny, in for a pound. Somehow everything else should follow on that same faith ticket, as you continue to trust in Jesus’ promises and live your life in the light of the overwhelming love of Father God in sending Jesus to save us.
We see Jesus in a new light. He announces to the gathered group that he has now been granted all authority in heaven and on earth. He had told his disciples at the Last Supper they could take heart because he had conquered the world. The world was his own, but in the fallen world to which the Word came, Satan had the authority. Jesus now has the authority – he is his own man, his mission on earth having been accomplished. He is also given authority in the heavenly realms. What a reception was awaiting him!
Before he goes, he charges his disciples with the task of discipling all nations. Those who accept Christ Jesus are to be baptised in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost. All three parties are included.
How do we prove that Christ Jesus has all authority on earth?
How steady is your faith? Does it ebb and flow at all?
Father God, your Son has been given all authority. Enable me individually, and my church fellowship, to move forward in faith on this truth, going out in the authority of the name that is now above all names. Amen.