“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 of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
— Matthew 28:18-20
Yesterday we noticed that, in his resurrection and ascension, Jesus is with us even now, here, today. (I am so thankful for that, aren’t you?)
Today, I want to notice what was next — for the disciples and for us.
We talked about this a little bit already last week when we noticed the way Jesus prepared the disciples for life after life with him on earth. But in these last words he spoke to them before ascending into heaven, we learn a little bit more.
Simply put, he asks them to make disciples.
When reading through Matthew this time through, I really felt the fullness of what that charge meant.
Jesus spent three years with his disciples. He was with them day in and day out. He taught them about himself and about the nature of the kingdom of God. He answered their questions. He corrected their misunderstandings. He helped them practice the same things they saw him doing.
He wasn’t asking them to evangelize with a few quick sentences or a few quick questions.
He was asking them to be with people as he was with them.
Teaching them. Orienting them to a truer reality than the one they see around them. Showing them the nature of Jesus by their own lives. Answering their questions. Being present to them.
Life after Easter is about having Jesus with us here and sharing him — the fullness of him — with others. I so love that. It’s become what I most want to do.