Last Sunday we saw the religious leaders prod the crowd witnessing Jesus’ crucifixion to mock Him, even those being crucified with Him mocked Him. A supernatural event took place as darkness fell over the area for three hours. This was obviously a physical darkness but it also represented a spiritual darkness, the darkness of man’s sin. Then with a final cry and at precisely the right time, Jesus willingly died for our sin. The temple curtain was torn from top to bottom, an earthquake split stones, and people were resurrected from their graves, in much the same way as Lazarus. An interesting point to take from that lesson was that Jesus gave up His life, it was not taken from Him. He waited to die until the three o’clock hour when the priests would be at the temple and would witness the tearing of the curtain and man’s new access to God with the curtain removed. Jesus was in control all along, sovereign over the very timing of His own death.
In today’s lesson we see that Jesus instructed us to go and make disciples. So how do we do that? We each have a skill, we each have a place to teach that skill and we can use various methods to teach. We are to use our skill or skills to make disciples of Christ. We can do this knowing that as believers we have the light of Jesus’ power and presence.
Read Matthew 28:16-17 “Worship”
How did the disciples immediately respond when they saw Jesus after His resurrection? They worshipped Him, but some doubted. Even today, we see responses to Jesus ranging from belief and acceptance to questioning and doubts to rejection.
What might have motivated them to worship?
What might have caused them to doubt?
Think of all they had experienced over the past few days. Their emotions were shot, they were both overjoyed and bewildered.
What should we do with our doubts? Give them to God. God can handle our honest doubts and questions when we earnestly seek Him. We can have doubts while we worship. Even so, God desires for us to move from doubting to faith and obedience.
What was the significance of Jesus accepting their worship? By accepting the disciples worship, Jesus showed Himself to be the Lord. Remember when Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He quoted Deuteronomy 6:13: “Worship the Lord your God, and serve only Him”.
Read Matthew 28:18 “Power”
Pg. 136 of the Quarterly has an interesting question: Why would it have been important for the disciples to understand the magnitude of Jesus’ authority? Why is it important for believers today?
What was the scope of Jesus’ authority? Jesus had authority before the resurrection, but through the resurrection, God the Father granted Him “all authority” over creation. To help explain His authority consider having someone read these verses: Matt. 7:29, 9:6-8, 21:23.
What does Jesus’ power mean for us? Jesus’ declaration of His authority over all creation immediately precedes His commission for us to “go…and make disciples”. Look at how “therefore” links this verse 18 to the next verses.
Read Matthew 28:19-20a “Mission”
See how “therefore” links the authority of v18 with the “go” in v19.
What were the disciples supposed to do? The disciples were to share the gospel, but also they were to nurture the new converts as they grew into maturity.
Why is baptism important after one has accepted Christ? Baptism is a public declaration of a person’s faith in Jesus, not a means by which a person is saved. It calls attention to the spiritual transformation that has taken place through the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.
As His followers, how are we to carry out Jesus’ instructions? Jesus instructed His disciples to extend their mission to the whole world. Christ still calls His followers to that today.
Read Matthew 28:20b “Presence”
Jesus had commanded and taught the disciples for years. Now it was time for them to take the baton and continue His ministry.
What did Jesus promise here? His presence, always.
How do we see His presence in our lives today? We do not have to carry out the Great Commission in going and making disciples in our own power and strength; Jesus is with us “always, to the end of the age.”
Does that promised presence serve as an encouragement to believers?
What does it mean to you that Jesus will be with us always?
At what times do you find this most strengthening and comforting.
Summary: How can we fulfill the Great Commission?
· Pray, give, go
· FBC Missions Task Force
· Ardmore Team
· Judea/Samaria Team
· Uttermost Team
Remember that you don’t have to depend on your own limited strength or resources. Jesus has promised His power and presence to go with us. Look and listen for opportunities to share the gospel every day.