What if you were asked to count all the grains of sand on a beach? Or you were tasked with inventing an affordable flying car? Clearly, you’d be overwhelmed by what seems impossible. Most likely you’d laugh rather than take these requests seriously.
We may wonder how the disciples felt in their last conversation with Jesus as recorded in Matthew’s Gospel. Jesus had taken His eleven disciples onto a hill in Galilee to give them an important final command. From a worldly perspective, these disciples were not extraordinary. They were ex-fishermen and tax collectors. They had likely never traveled beyond the Roman province of Judea.
Yet, Jesus gave them a seemingly impossible command. He called them to “go and make disciples of all nations” (Matt. 28:19). What did He mean? Why did He give this group of people such a huge task? Jesus wanted both Jews and Gentiles to hear the good news about His death and resurrection. He wanted them not just to tell people, but to “make disciples.” Jesus was calling His disciples to recruit more people to become His apprentices. This involves being baptized and “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (v. 20). They were not simply to get people to verbally assent to following Jesus, but to see lives transformed by His teaching.
Jesus gave this impossible command for two reasons. First, He has been given “all authority in heaven and on earth” (v. 18). He had the right to do so. But equally as important, Jesus promised that He would (and will!) empower His disciples to obey this command (v. 20).
>> We inherited this command from Jesus. Followers of Jesus never have to wonder what their purpose in life should be. While there are different ways in which God calls us to be a part of His mission, the overall goal is clear. This clear purpose is a wonderful gift that can provide us with direction and hope until Christ returns.
When we look at the world around us, it is easy to be dismayed. There is so much sin, anger, and hurt. How can we make a difference? But through You all things are possible (Matt. 19:26). Keep us focused on You today.