Summary: Jesus gave the disciples the great commission and as the church we should be compelled to complete it!
A Commission to Complete
February 27, 2005
How is that Jesus make an impact on the world?
During the Second World War, a church in Strasbourg was destroyed. After the bombing, the members of this particular church went to see what was left and found that the entire roof had fallen in, leaving a heap of rubble and broken glass. Much to their surprise, however, a statue of Christ with outstretched hands that had been carved centuries before by a great artist was still standing erect. It was virtually unharmed except that both hands had been sheered off by a falling beam. The people hurried to a sculptor in town and asked if he could replace the hands of the statue. He was willing, and he even offered to do it for nothing. The church officials met to consider the sculptor’s proposition -- and decided not to accept his offer. Why? Because they felt that the statue without hands would be the greatest illusion possible that God’s work is done through His people.
How does Jesus impact this world? He uses those who are already following Him to attract more followers. The simple fact of the matter is that Jesus use disciples to make more disciples. He uses us in all of our frailty and faults to complete His divine plan on this earth.
God is looking for those through whom He can do the impossible, what a pity we settle for the things that we can do on our own. - AW Tozer
Jesus wants to use you to make a difference in His kingdom. Jesus wants to use you to impact all of eternity. Jesus wants to use you to accomplish the impossible.
This morning I want to refresh your memory about a familiar passage that I believe gives us some of the basic principles for discipleship. If you have your Bibles with you please open them to Matthew 28:16-20.
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped 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, baptizing 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." Matthew 28:16-20
I. The Point of the Calling (16-17)
16 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.
We see here that Jesus had given some simple instruction to the disciples to meet Him at a specific mountain in Galilee. We do not know where Jesus met the disciples that day but it must have been a place that they would have been familiar with. It is likely that Jesus met them at the same location where He gave the sermon on the Mount. This would have been described as a mountain, would have been in Galilee and would have been a location that the disciples would have easily remembered.
There is a simple truth to discipleship and making disciples. Before we can go out and make disciples, we must first have our hearts on the right track with Christ. Jesus is looking for two things from those who follow Him.
Jesus is not so concerned with the abilities of those who will be His disciples but Jesus is concerned with the availability of those who would follow Him. The simple truth is that it is impossible for anyone to effectively follow Jesus if they will not make themselves available for His service. Jesus is not looking for the most able person, or the most successful person. I firmly believe that Jesus is searching for people who will open their hearts and make room for Him to be a real part of their lives.
Jesus is looking for people who will make themselves available to His leading. Jesus is looking for people who will make themselves available to receive His power. Jesus is looking for people who will make themselves available to His Work and obey His will. Jesus is looking for ordinary people through whom He can accomplish the extraordinary.
Jesus is looking for people who will surrender their own will to find His will. This is most powerfully displayed in our willingness to worship. When the disciples arrived in Galilee and saw Jesus there were some who doubted. They withheld their worship and praise of Jesus even when they saw Him in His resurrected body. It is impossible to be on the right track with God if withhold yourself from genuine worship.