Summary: This message was written as part of a mission emphasis series. It fits well into a purpose of the church series also. It depicts that the Church is to be on mission for and with Jesus because of who He is and because of what He does.
THE GREAT COMMISSION
Circumstances have provided lengthy opportunities to deepen my thinking about death. If I knew my time to go on to Heaven was near through illness or indication of age, what statement would I leave with those I loved most? What challenge would assist them in seeing clearly the responsibility of life? What encouragement would stimulate them to accept it?
The Resurrected Lord of Life had such an opportunity to share with His loved ones. Jesus had sacrificially died and miraculously risen from the dead. He knew what only God Almighty could know and related it as only the Man Triumphant could. God in human flesh sounded the clarion call that we who have been born again by His blood and Spirit should bring others into a redemptive Master-servant relationship with Him. Have you taken to heart this last word and testament which Jesus left for us in Matthew?
I. A Great Authority; 16-18.
II. A Great Command; 19-20a.
III. A Great Promise; 20b.
But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated.
Jesus had burst forth in new power from the grave and the now unsealed tomb and had revealed Himself to His disciples. He had invited them to go to a place, a mountain in Galilee which was familiar to them. This designated place was most probably the Mount of Transfiguration, where Jesus was transfigured (Mt. 17) and His glory shined forth from His earthly body as Moses and Elijah came to converse with Him. The disciples, especially Peter, James and John would never forget the event or the place where the glory blazed, nor the brilliant cloud that spoke and commanded them to listen to the Beloved Son with whom God was well-pleased.
The Resurrected Lord of Life called them out from the threats and distractions of the great city of Jerusalem to the country side of Galilee away from the Lake of Galilee where the majority of Jesus’ earthly ministry had occurred. There in this quiet and beautiful retreat setting Jesus would reveal Himself and His mission to His disciples and ask them to commit the rest of their life to its completion.
Verse 17 tells the disciples response to seeing Jesus, the resurrected Lord of Life. And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful.
When they saw Jesus, they worshiped Him. We too need to see, to get this vision of Jesus as the Risen Lord of Life. He has conquered the humanly unconquerable foes of sin, the devil and the grave. There in living proof He stood. The Sinless One whom sin, the grave and the Devil could not hold. The One worthy of all glory and honor. If our heart and mind will capture who Jesus Christ really is, it will evoke worship within us.
It speaks volumes to me to know that those men who knew Jesus best would worship Him. Those who know me best are certainly in no danger of worshiping me. These disciples spent day and night with Him for three years. They had seen Him face tremendous challenges of opportunity and opposition. They had seen Him when things were going well and when things were going poorly. They had seen Him when circumstances and antagonist were closing in around Him. They had seen Him when miracles were at His left and right hand and people wanted to make Him King.
These men, these Jewish men, for whom the First and Second Commandments forbid giving worship to any but the One True God, fell down and worshiped Jesus. Worship is reserved for the Lord God alone.
If those who knew Jesus best would proclaim and worship Him as Lord and God then those of us who know Him by the spiritual eyes of faith must join them in worshiping Him as Lord and God. Yes, those who know Jesus best worship Him most.
Notice that as they bowed in worship that some were doubtful. Some would not believe unless they insert their hands within His spear pierced side and nail pierced hands. They wanted additional proof as doubters always do.
Many will be doubtful in our day and age too. We cannot expect all to see with the same clarity that Jesus is the Risen Lord of Life as others do, yet Jesus comes and ministers to all.
Verse 18 begins, And Jesus came up and spoke to them.
Notice that the doubts of the doubter could not keep Jesus away from those who worship Him. We too need Jesus to come near and speak to us. If we will but worship Him, Jesus will draw close and speak His words of life to us. Many times we prohibit the presence and power of Jesus within a service or within our life because we refuse to join together in worship of Him. We refuse to give Jesus the homage that is His due. We refuse to recognize His worthiness within our own daily life, within our own daily routine and wonder why His Word doesn’t speak to us. Our life is not relaying a message to God that we adore You, love You, and want You to come near as Lord and speak to us.