Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Great Commission

Sometimes we express ourselves in understatements because we cannot express the truth adequately any other way. Sometimes we try and that trying makes it an even greater understatement. Here is an example. It is probably the greatest understated phrase of the last two thousand years: “The Great Commission.”

“Then Jesus came to them and said, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age'” (Matthey 28:18-20).

The phrase is microscopic when placed next to the truth. Here is the first part of the truth: “all authority in Heaven and on Earth has been given to me.” Please endeavor to get your mind around how much authority that is. It cannot be encompassed with the word “great”.

The next word is connected to that truth. It is the word “therefore.” When you see the word “therefore,” look to see what it is “there” for. It is a conjunction that connects this all authority to a command. The command is to make followers of the one who has all of their authority, and make them “of all nations.” Having made them, they are to be taught to obey everything that they themselves have been commanded to obey. This is not a command to be evaded, ignored, or directly disobeyed. If you are not yet one of His followers, you are off the hook. The word “go” in the Great Commission is not a command. The word is a participle “going” or “as you go” make disciples. We are all “going” all of the time. Disciple making is to happen “as we go” wherever we are.

In the Lord Jesus Christ,

Jim

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Life of Jesus

In the life of Jesus here on earth, 33 years, we have only about 45 recorded days in all four of the Gospels.

In the four gospels of 89 chapters, 30 of them are on the last week of His life story.

The account of his birth and when he was 12-years-old take 4 more chapters.

30 years of his life are not recorded. The last 3 years are given 55 chapters for 37 days. Many of theses chapters give accounts of the same teachings, parables, miracles, and narratives. There is very much teaching available in these 55 chapters. They are very important.

However, the last week or the last three days and the days that follow are what the whole Bible is about. They are what was prefigured, prophesied, preached, and proclaimed. Here is the essence of these few days:

“Moreover, brethren, I declare to you the gospel which I preached to you, which also you received and in which you stand, by which also you are saved, if you hold fast that word which I preached to you—unless you believed in vain.
For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve” (I Corinthians 15:1-5).