11.18.13 "Authority!"

  Matthew 28:18-20

18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 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, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

There are three powerful images that strike me as I read the passage for today.  From a human prospective the only way I can understand and process the first part of this passage is by comparing it to a human experience.  Every four years on January 20th or 21st if the 20th happens to fall on a Sunday, the United States officially swears its President into office.   On that date the full power and authority of that office backed by the full force of the United States government is conveyed to an individual citizen.  It is a big deal.  In that moment this individual is given enough power to destroy the world as we know it as the keys to the nations’ vast arsenal of nuclear weapons rest in their hands.   The authority to order into harm’s way other citizens or provide protection to millions of people thousands of miles away is vested in the President.

Comparing this authority to that which JESUS was given by the CREATOR of the universe would be like comparing a black and white movie on a 12 inch screen with the full color IMAX 3D version…there is no comparison.  JESUS is given the authority of ALL MIGHTY GOD and that’s a very big deal.   It is also very good news because we know what HE will do with that authority.  HE will do as HE did the night of HIS betrayal when HE washed the feet of HIS disciples.  HE will do what HE did when HE hung from the cross praying for those that executed HIM.  As pastor said yesterday our JESUS is a BIG JESUS. (Human perspective:  think BigTex at the state fair)  He will love and protect his own and we know this.

In the second part of the passage JESUS gives us our marching orders!  But our mission though wrought with danger is a joyous one.  We get to share this awesome news of a real GOD who sent HIS SON to guarantee us eternity with the entire world.   That is a very, very big deal.

Finally, just when our mission sinks in and we begin to deal with the magnitude and scariness of making disciples of the entire world, we are assured of success.  JESUS tells us not to worry for HE will be with us every step of the way even to the very edge of the eternity HE has promised us.   That is a very, very, very big deal!

HEAVENLY FATHER, thank you so much for the opportunity to serve rather than be served.  Remind us today of our orders to share the good news.  Remind us today when the load is heavy and the mission seems too great that YOU are a BIG GOD and we do not walk alone.  Remind us that we have been commissioned by the ONE who has been given all authority.  In CHRIST'S Name we pray, Amen.