What is the last thing your mom or dad says to you before you go out the door? Is it something like this?: Be safe. I love you. Remember to be polite and mind your manners. Call me when you get there.
Jesus’ last words before He left His followers to return to heaven shows us what He really wants us to remember. His last words describe what Jesus wants us to do based on everything else He taught us.
On a hill overlooking Jerusalem, Jesus gathered for the last time with His followers and gave them these directions:
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and o f the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20
These instructions, today called The Great Commission, tell every follower of Jesus that we should go and make disciples everywhere. The original word Jesus used for “go” literally means “as you continue on your journey.” Wherever we go on our daily journeys, we should be ready and willing to share Jesus with the people we meet.
After Jesus delivered His final instructions, but before He went back to Heaven, Jesus made a promise to His followers. I’m going to be with you—wherever you go. Jesus promised His Spirit would come after He left and give them the power to do the Great Commission. Jesus’s Spirit would be like the battery in your flashlight—He is the reason it works!
Why would we need the Spirit’s power to do what Jesus asks? Because the plan is huge!
In the same hilltop scene, Jesus said in Acts 1:8, “You will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be My witnesses in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
Jesus described three areas where His followers should share His Good News. Think of a bull’s eye.
In Jerusalem, meaning where we live right now.
In all Judea and Samaria, meaning our bigger community/state/country.
To the ends of the earth, meaning... well, to the rest of the world!
Jesus’s followers took His instructions and shared the Good News of Jesus Christ all over the earth. Today, we continue in their steps. We each have different abilities, we may speak different languages, but God’s Spirit gives each of His followers the power tools we need to live the Great Commission.
We each can do our part in sharing God’s Good News and making disciples all over the earth.