October 16, 2023

All Authority

Matthew 28:16-20

“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.”

—  Matthew 28:19-20

Jesus came to live among us as the promised Messiah of God’s people. Many of the people thought the Messiah would be a political king who would free them from the grip of the Roman Empire. But Jesus’ mission was not political. He came to free sinners from the tyranny of sin and to give them new life with God forever.

In his teaching ministry Jesus clashed with the religious authorities. He challenged them because they were more concerned with power and position than with leading people to live God’s way—by loving God and loving their neighbor. The religious leaders felt threatened by Jesus, so they plotted to kill him. And they managed to get him executed by the Roman government. So Jesus laid down his life for us by dying on a cross, and he was buried. But then he rose to life again, victorious over sin and death for our sake!

Before he ascended to heaven, Jesus told his disciples (and us!) that against all appearances, in a world of tyrants and power politics, all authority had been given to him. Then he said that as we are moving about in the world, we are to make disciples. How? By baptizing them into the family of God, and by teaching them to be obedient to his teachings. And if we ever grow afraid of this task (for we will meet opposition), he promised that he will always be with us through his Holy Spirit.

Lord Jesus, you have all authority. Help us to serve you faithfully in making disciples. Amen.

About the author — Kristopher Walhof

Kristopher Walhof is a minister in the Christian Reformed Church who lives with his wife and seven-year-old son in rural Kenya. He teaches Bible and theology courses to theological students seeking ordination in the Africa Inland Church (AIC) denomination.

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