Something like the Great Commission is easy to keep in conversation. Yet this mission is to result in action that goes far beyond discussion. In other words, it’s easy to talk-the-talk, but a lot harder to walk-the-walk.
Far too often our theology is equipping us, but not moving us. We can be like a soldier who is fully armed – weapons ready and armor on – yet sitting on the couch.
The Great Commission is every Christian’s vocation. But, if we lose sight of the incredible privilege, purpose, and promises of this great vocation, we can easily find ourselves on long periods of vacation from this glorious mandate.
Over the next few weeks I want to share a series of thoughts related to the authority and glory that propels this Great Commission. The goal is that we would be stirred to action – being more than just equipped to go out, but actually participating in the expansion of Christ’s Church.
The Authority of Christ’s Commission
Put yourself in the place of the disciples who were standing before the risen Lord. Jesus just announced that all exousia in heaven and earth was given to Him (Matthew 28:18). This exousia is more than just Jesus’ ability or might to enforce such a mission; it is His right to command it.
A bully may stand up in class and order other students around, but he has no real authority. Some classmates may obey out of fear, but the authority belongs to the teacher.
When Jesus sanctions the Great Commission, He has more than just the might to implement it, He has the right to initiate it because His authority was given to Him by God the Father – the Creator, Sustainer, and Owner of all the universe.
The Implications of Christ’s Authority
Jesus’ authority is incredibly comforting when it comes to this nationwide mission. Since Jesus really has all authority, then there is no place we can’t go in His name. Think about the concept of a closed country in light of Jesus’ authoritative mandate to go to all people groups with the power of the Gospel. There are no people outside the scope of Jesus’ command.
God’s command supersedes and at times suspends all other human mandates. We may have to suffer persecution, but we will always have the stamp of God’s approval to spread His Gospel in every corner of the earth.
All of the universe is under Jesus’ authority, including all the existing spiritual or political powers. This is how Jesus can commission the Church with the task of spreading His Gospel throughout every nation, no matter how dark or impenetrable it may seem. The church will be built, and not even the gates of Hell will be able to stand against it (Matthew 16:18).
What are we doing in His name?
Have doubts and fears kept us from actively and boldly going out into the highways and byways to spread the Gospel? Without confidence in Christ’s authority, you may doubt that the Gospel can make any impact on your neighbor. Without confidence in Christ’s authority, you may question what right you have to share your faith with that person.
Understanding Christ’s authority should motivate us toward active and confident participation in the Great Commission.
Question: How can Christ’s authority embolden you for Great Commission work this week?