February 1, 2022
“Then Jesus came near and said to them, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations...”
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“Then Jesus came near and said to them, ‘All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, immersing them in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.’” Matthew 28:18-20
When Jesus commanded the apostles to make disciples of all nations, He was allowing them to have limited participation in fulfilling the prophecy of Daniel.
“I continued watching in the night visions, and I saw One like a son of man coming in the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted before Him. He was given authority to rule, and glory, and a kingdom; so that those of every people, nation, and language should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, that will not pass away, and His kingdom is one that will not be destroyed.” Daniel 7:13-14
The idea of immersing the Gentiles in the “name” of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit was utterly revolutionary to the Jewish culture of Jesus’ day. First off, notice Jesus doesn’t say “names” (plural), but rather “name” (singular). He is referencing the persons of God as “one name.” He recognizes what we know as the “Trinity” of God.
Secondly, before this command for “people of all nations” to be immersed in God’s name, it was commonly believed among the Jews that only Hebrews would be called by the Lord’s name. They had been taught (and rightly so) that the Jewish people were a special people, created by a miracle (in that He brought forth a son from Abraham & Sarah, way past child-bearing age), chosen to be a nation of priests. It’s one thing to be chosen, but another thing to accept your calling, to “choose your chosen-ness,” as it were.
Through the generations, a critical understanding of the source of Israel’s “chosen status” was lost. First off, God chose to call a man from Mesopotamia named Abraham to follow Him. Second, by faith, Abraham chose to believe God and follow Him. Third, even though Abraham was as sinful as the next guy, God counted his faithful response as righteousness. That is Grace. God is willing to consider faith from imperfect people as if it were righteousness. It is essential to know it is not our faith in and of itself that saves us. Rather, God’s grace is that he considers the OBJECT of our faith, Jesus, to be the worthy substitute for our sin debt…covering us completely.
While we were yet sinners, Messiah chose to love us, even unto death. By virtue of His resurrection, He is alive today and He chooses to offer eternal life to anyone who would receive it. He also chooses to reveal Himself by the persuasive power of His Spirit, that mankind would, perhaps, by faith, choose to repent & follow Him. In return, He chooses to impute His righteousness into our “bankrupt spiritual accounts,” so to speak.
Now that you have chosen to follow the Lord who chose to offer you salvation, do you choose to carry His gospel to all the nations…starting with your next-door neighbors?