Matthew 28:18–20

“All authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me, therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the father, the son, and the Holy spirit, teaching them to observe all I have commanded you. And behold I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

Reflection 

You might look at the Church in Australia, on the back edge of 70 years in decline, and be—rightly—concerned about her future. But there is a growing remnant of people—practitioners and not just theorists—of disciple-making Jesus followers. Jesus gives the mission: As you are going, make disciples. Baptising and teaching obedience. And Jesus’ final words here are our assurance of our future hope as God’s people ‘I AM WITH YOU to the end of the age’.

We can read this as ‘Jesus continues to be present with us’, as we know that he sends the Holy Spirit to be our guide and advocate. But it is more than that. Jesus saying, I AM WITH YOU and Matthew including this statement here in his final chapter, is connecting it back to ‘God with us’, the Isaiah quote, that Matthew works into Chapter 1:22-23. ‘A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and call his name Immanuel, which means God with us’.

That Isaiah 7:14 quote is a good one—of God’s loyal love and deliverance of the nation of Israel. He promised that his people had a future, and a king that would rule forever, and they have, and they will. Isaiah wasn’t shy about it either, he says to the opposing nations ‘come against us, you will lose. Make your strategy, it will be thwarted. Give your orders, they will not be executed. For GOD IS WITH US.‘God with us’ is more than a comforting companion, it is victory, success and strength! Jesus’ commissioning to his disciples and to us, is to play our personal part, in teaching others of God’s commands, and baptising them into the family, and remember— “MY PEOPLE WILL NOT FAIL. I am loyal to them and WILL preserve them. I am with you.”

‘What’s the best that could happen?’ Don’t be afraid this Easter! In our obedience, our victorious God is with us and will deliver His people and His church. Prepare room for God’s victory in your relationships and the people in your life.

Prayer

Jesus, thank you that you have guaranteed your protection and the deliverance of your people, so we need not fear. Call us again this Easter into your victorious mission to teach, baptise and make disciples as we are going. Thank you for your presence YOU ARE WITH US and for calling us your own. Amen.


 

Bio

My name is Ben Stephenson, and I live in Melbourne. I work at a church called Crossway Baptist Church, where I’m part of a big committed team, seeking to multiply disciples in the teenagers of Melbourne.