This is profound! What I share below is an insight into the plan, purpose, and power of God that affects every one of us as obedient Christ followers.
The Great Commission was spoken by Jesus to His chosen disciples most clearly in Matthew 28:18-20 (NASB). And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Let me outline this familiar text in a way that focuses the meaning on the word “with.” This is the subject of Randy’s most meaningful series of teachings. It is absolutely the foundation of all we do to expand the kingdom of Christ until He returns. Follow my reshaping of the words:
1. Front Bracket: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.
2. Commission: Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you;
3. Back Bracket: and lo, I am WITH you always, even to the end of the age.”
So, the commandment of Christ is rooted in His authority, and empowered by His presence.
Our gospel commissioning is bracketed on the front end by His authority as the resurrected Son of God to authorize us to act in His name to seek lost people.
Our gospel commissioning is bracketed on the back end by His presence that assures us that we do not do evangelism alone. We seek lost souls – not just FOR Him, but WITH Him!
This should change everything we have thought about evangelism. Presence-based witness! We do this together with Jesus, Who is right here, right now.
And please observe that quaint little word “lo.” It is the key to our effectiveness. “Lo” means this: “Behold!” Take a look!” See this!” And more literally (i.e., middle voice) “Experience this for yourself!”
There is a great discovery in the Great Commission. Check it out! You aren’t witnessing on your own. He is witnessing with you, and through you. We experience His anointing in the act of obedience.
So, be encouraged. Rather than witnessing merely for Jesus, you are privileged to witness WITH Him.
Let’s let Isaiah 41:10 add clarity through this promise God makes to His people, both then and now:
‘Do not fear, for I am with you;
Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you, surely I will help you,
Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’