When was the last time you read Matthew 28:16-20? This is what the church refers to as The Great Commission. Upon closer inspection, it is as surprising as it is great!
For anyone who has been involved in the church for very long, it is a familiar passage. But, for many of us, we miss some of the most amazing details because of our familiarity with the passage.
Looking closer we find an interesting bunch of people gathered that day with Jesus. Jesus had invited them to meet him there. The eleven, we are told, included doubters and worshippers. While their faith varied in strength, the object of their faith was the same: Jesus. The One in whom they placed their faith was the final authority in heaven and on earth! Instead of applying more knowledge to their doubt, Jesus offered Himself!
Because they had all placed their faith in Him, Jesus sent all of them as missionaries of the gospel: making disciples through baptism and teaching disciples to obey Jesus' teaching.
It's the last phrase in the commission that sneaks past us. Jesus wasn't sending them out alone. He was going with them! "Behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age" (v. 26). While some doubted, it was the presence of Jesus in their life and filling their witness that made what they say convincing.
Faithfulness in the mission has more to do with Jesus' faithfulness to us than our's to Him! It is the former that makes the latter possible.