04/01/W – Claim, Commission, and Commitment

Exodus 38:9-31; Matthew 28:11-20; Psalms 35:1-9; Proverbs 12:10

NT: “The eleven disciples traveled to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had directed them. When they saw him, they worshiped, but some doubted. 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, baptizing them in the name of the Father and 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 ‭28:16-20‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

Many scholars believe that there were more on the mountain than just the eleven disciples. All eleven disciples believed in the resurrected Christ and proclaimed that belief until their death. Some scholars believe that up to several hundred could have been there to behold the risen Lord. But even with physical evidence there right in front of them, some doubted. There will always be doubters, skeptics, and even militant opposers, but that shouldn’t discourage belief in Christ’s resurrection. On the mountain, in front of both the believing and the curious, Jesus states a claim, gives a commission, and makes a commitment. The claim: All authority, in heaven and on earth, has new been given to Jesus the resurrected Lord. Not some… all authority. The commission: We as believers and disciples of Jesus are to go in that authority and make disciples in every strata of people on the earth. We don’t just make converts, we make disciples who have been taught the word, will, and ways of the Lord and thus walk according to the word, will, and ways of the Lord. The commitment: As we do what He has commissioned us to do in the authority that He has been given, He will always be with us. We don’t go alone, but go with Him and in Him –  yoked to Him by the Holy Spirit that He sends and baptizes us with.

Psalms: “Oppose my opponents, Lord; fight those who fight me. Take your shields — large and small — and come to my aid. Draw the spear and javelin against my pursuers, and assure me, “I am your deliverance.” Let those who intend to take my life be disgraced and humiliated; let those who plan to harm me be turned back and ashamed. Let them be like chaff in the wind, with the angel of the Lord driving them away. Let their way be dark and slippery, with the angel of the Lord pursuing them. They hid their net for me without cause; they dug a pit for me without cause. Let ruin come on him unexpectedly, and let the net that he hid ensnare him; let him fall into it — to his ruin. Then I will rejoice in the Lord; I will delight in his deliverance.” (‭‭Psalms‬ ‭35:1-9‬ ‭CSB‬‬)

Here, David is writing about physical opponents – actual physical enemies that wanted to see him destroyed. Our enemies are not ultimately flesh and blood people, though there are sometimes people that want to either see us destroyed or see the work of God in and through our lives destroyed. Ultimately our enemy is the kingdom of darkness, which influences all sorts of opposition and evil. Sin is our enemy. Death is our enemy. In this current time, we have a virus that is being used by the kingdom of darkness to wreak all sorts of havoc on the earth – to shut down economies so that people are without necessities – to stir up panic and chaos as people worry about their livelihoods and fear for their lives – to sow animosity and hatred in peoples hearts as they grow frustrated at people who don’t behave the way they do. So I pray this prayer of David against this viral enemy and the demonically inspired chaos in its wake, and trust that the Lord who has all authority on heaven and on earth will hear my prayer and deliver.

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