Sermon: PastorBryon November 25, 2018
On September 11, 2001 United Flight 93 was hijacked by terrorist. Among those on the plane that day was Todd Beamer who was one of the passengers that attempted to regain control of the plane. As reported by a telephone operator, Todd’s famous last words that day were, Let’s Roll!
Throughout history we are reminded of famous last words.
- Earnest Hemmingway – Goodnight my kitten
- Edgar Allen Poe – Lord help my poor soul
- George Harrison – Love one another
- Karl Marx – Last words are for fools who haven’t said enough
- Steve Jobs – Oh Wow, Oh Wow, Oh Wow
Sometimes last words can be a source of truth, wisdom and sincerity. Other times they can just be nonsense or bitterness. Then there are those who have taken their last breathe to express what is most important to them such as those who took that moment to tell people they loved them.
Although the last words Jesus spoke were not of a dying man they were of utmost importance, providing instructions as to what he expected from us as he departed this world.
16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had appointed for them. 17 When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
The Gospel of Matthew ends with what has come to be known as the Great Commission. Jesus provides his disciples with some last words before ascending into heaven. The Great Commission is our work to carry out as His disciples.
In verse 16-17 we learn that Jesus had given instructions for the 11 Apostles to meet him on a mountain in Galilee. When they arrived they began worshiping him there as soon as they saw him. However, verse 17 states there were some that doubted Him. It’s unclear to what extent some doubted. It’s unlikely, however, that any of them really disbelieved at this point that Jesus is the Messiah and the Son of God.
As Christians we all struggle from time to time with disbelief. Not that Jesus is Lord but certainly of His involvement in our lives or His willingness to help us when our world is upside down. Most of the Apostles had abandoned Jesus when he was arrested so maybe it stemmed from their guilt.
Verse 18 states, And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
All authority is now in the hands of Christ, in heaven and on the earth. On the basis of that authority and power, the Christian disciple is to carry out the Great Commission of the church.
Verse 19 commands us to ‘Go’ therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
This verse uses an active word to provide a command, Go. Notice it doesn’t give alternatives such as, wait or when you go or if you go, just GO. We are to go and make disciples. We are to actively and continuously make disciples. Furthermore, it doesn’t say our job is to prequalify people prior and it doesn’t say we save anyone. The discipleship process doesn’t depend on a person being a Christian. In fact, it is by making disciples that a person learns about the saving grace of Christ and can make an informed decision to accept Christ as their savior. This is why Christ used the word MAKE.
The second part of this verse says baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. That’s a new command. Christ now places himself unmistakably as God.
Verse 20 says, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.
The process of making disciples means that we are helping people to understand the teaching of Jesus. He also provides a promise that He will be with us always, even to the end of the age.
Remember when the Angel of the Lord came to Mary and told her to name Him Emmanuel for God with us. This verse is a representation of a promise that has gone full circle. God came to always be with us and here he is reiterating that promise.
How do we make disciples?
1 Peter 3:15 – But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
- Model Christ-like Behavior
Paul said in 1 Corinthians 11:1 Imitate me as I imitate Christ.
Colossians 3:16 – 16 Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.