By Kyle Shreve, Missionary to Chile
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen. Matthew 28:18-20
This is probably the passage we associate most commonly with missions, and for good reason. In verse 18, we see that Jesus gives us the motivation for our
obedience to the Great Commission: He has all power.
Now, I don’t think any of us doubt that Jesus is God, or that He does, in fact, have all power, but consider what has just happened when he says this. In
chapter 27, Jesus is crucified, dies, and in placed in the tomb. It ends on a very bleak note, and probably a very hopeless feeling for the disciples and other
followers of Jesus.
But in this chapter, we find out that He isn’t dead! Jesus has conquered death, and is alive in this chapter! Of all the miracles performed up to this point, I
cannot think of one that is more miraculous. Other people had been brought back from the dead, but none had suffered such a physical beating as Christ
did, and none certainly carried the sins of the world on their shoulders as they died. And yet, Christ is alive.
So, when He tells his disciples and the church to go, teach, baptize, and teach all nations of the world because He has authority, He really does. He has conquered the thing that conquers all men: death. But he hasn’t conquered just physical death, He has conquered spiritual death as well. If we understand who Jesus is, and what He has done, missions is the only logical thing we can do with our lives. Jesus overcomes death, returns to life, and sends His church into the world to proclaim the Gospel.
Consider that you were once in spiritual darkness and death. If Jesus has rescued you from that can you do anything but give your life to tell others
that news? Jesus’ conquest of death and all things in this world gives Him the authority to tell us to go take the Gospel to the world.
Seeing who He is, and what He has done, our obedience to Him is the only thing that really makes any sense.