Faithlife Sermons

The Commission Continues

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The Great Commission

When Jesus ascended to heaven after his mission on earth, the angels asked him: “Did you accomplish your task?”

“Yes, all is finished,” the Lord replied.

“We have a second question,” said the angels. “Has the whole world heard of you?”

“No,” said Jesus.

The angels next asked, “Then what is your plan?”

Jesus said, “I have left twelve men and some other followers to carry the message to the whole world.”

The angels looked at him and asked: “What is your Plan B?”

Friends, there is no Plan B. Jesus desires to reach the world through men and women like you and me.

The Setting

Easter is behind them, with is joyful chaos replacing the horrific chaos of Passover’s gruesome fulfillment at Golgotha. By now, the Apostles have had so many of their assumptions about what was or wasn’t possible in life overturned by Jesus Christ that I don’t know how one could have convinced that there was anything that Jesus could not do.
In addition, we have just finished looking at the amazing, glorious experience of Pentecost - the day when an an obscure passage from Joel suddenly became as clear as the sun at 9 am, and Galilean fishermen, a tax collector, a former political zealot, and others who were otherwise ordinary people, were empowered to carry a message that neither language nor ethnicity nor any other human cultural barrier could hinder.
Now standing on the precipice of a future that was truly in God’s hands, we take a moment with the Apostles to look back to a day that still challenges us. What does it mean to be an agent of the Creator of the Universe, to have a revelation into the being of God and to be charged with working in, with, and through Him with advancing His interests in a world that does not grasp, nor even desires to grasp, the explosive implications of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, His life, death and resurrection, for us?

The text

Matthew 28:16–20 ESV
Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
The text itself is rather unremarkable. there are no textual or higher critical issues to address, other than whether the word, “Amen” belongs at the conclusion. If your translation of this text lacks it, feel free to say “Amen” anyway, because you agree that Jesus has kept this promise as well.
The information packed within the text is rich: issues of Theology, Christology, Pneumatology, Soteriology, Anthropology, and Ecclesiology are found within these four verses. I cannot fully do justice to all that is contained here in one sermon, even if I took far more than the typical 15-20 minutes that we give to the preaching of the Word on any given Sunday. I have had to choose, in this case, not to deal with the power of Christ’s Word to stand in the face of our doubtful worship (v. 17), or to wrestle with the reality of Christ’s authority in a world that does not even wish to recognize His resurrection (v. 18).
Today, I stand before you as a missionary to Gary, IN. I come to share with you that Christ’s command - and command it was - of “therefore, going, make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to to keep everything, whatever I have commanded to you,” is still working its way through neighborhoods and communities and nations, including America.

Let’s talk about Gary

(spend no more than 5 minutes here)

Sharing what the LCMS is doing through me and the local congregations on the ground

(quick overview)

My Purpose

(God’s promise realized through this Word)


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