Summary: The presence of Christ is always with us to guide us through all life’s events.
Matthew 28: 16 – 20 I Am With You
Intro: Have you ever used a vending machine that brews hot coffee or hot chocolate and spits it into a cup? I once encountered just such a machine into which I put my coins and made my selection. The machine began to hum and whir. The nozzle went into action sending my hot chocolate right down the drain because no cup ever descended. When the machine turned off, I turned to the person behind me and said, “Now that’s real automation. This thing even drinks it for you!” --- Recalling that incident made me realize that is how some people want to be a disciple of Christ Jesus. They want to put in some money and let somebody else do all the work and ministry automatically.
I. Being a disciple of Christ Jesus is never a simple thing. Beginning in verse 18, Matthew has recorded the last instructions to his disciples and therefore to us.
A. According to this scripture lesson, there is only one person who has been given authority and that is Christ Jesus. VS. 18 – “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.” Jesus has the authority to not only govern heaven; but, earth as well
B. What exactly does that phrase mean? --- It means that Jesus has authority not only over the Jews but over the whole earth.
C. This means that Jesus is given the supreme right to govern both here and beyond. Christ Jesus lays claim to his kingship! Matthew implies that this authority has been given by God.
II. VS. 19 & 20 THEREFORE – DISCIPLE – it is a verb here, not a noun. The word is MATHETEUSATE or MAQHTEUSATE --- This is the task of every believer. Jesus also makes it perfectly clear how that is to be accomplished.
A. Baptizing – triune baptism – The word “IN” or “INTO” means into the possession and protection of the trinity (godhead) Mark them as belonging to God.
B. Teaching – not just the sharing of information. This teaching is best done by example (Teaching Christianity in the same way one teaches karate.)
C. Teaching obedience - Jesus even lays out what is to be taught. My mother was fond of using an expression with me. She would say that I was to do as she said, not as she did. But, the teaching Jesus expects says, “Do as I say AND do as I do.”
III. Vs. 20b is perhaps the greatest promise that Christ Jesus could make to his disciples and to us.
A. It is the promise of the SHEKINAH: The promise of the never-failing presence of Christ.
B. What we fail often to realize is that the promise was not given and forgotten long ago. It is a promise that continues even into our present lives. Christ Jesus promises to be here, now!
C. Famous motto: CHRIST IS THE HEAD OF THIS HOUSE, THE UNSEEN GUEST AT EVERY MEAL, THE SILENT LISTENER TO EVERY CONVERSATION. Would we live differently if we lived by that motto?
Conclu: George A. Buttrick a 20th century theologian once said there are 2 essential things possessed by early Christians that are lacking in the modern church: 1) a transforming, communicable experience of the living Christ. 2) A passion to pass it on. If that statement is to proven false, it is up to you and me for Christ Jesus has promised faithfully. He says, “And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”