Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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 all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:16-20 ESV)
Today we begin to study the final passage in the gospel of Matthew. In this passage Jesus issues what is known as “The Great Commission” in which He commands His followers to tell others about Him. We’ll get to the details of that in a few days. But first we must study the attitude of those to whom Jesus spoke.
Jesus had commanded that the eleven disciples meet Him in Galilee [Matthew 28:10]. It’s interesting that Jesus held this meeting in Galilee when He and the disciples were all in Jerusalem after He rose from the dead. But Galilee was where He spent the bulk of His ministry and had His greatest following. It also was on the edge of the Gentile world in northern Israel and as we previously learned, was a very cosmopolitan and ethnically diverse area.
So they went to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. The disciples made themselves available. They didn’t know why He wanted them there. All they knew was that this was where Jesus wanted them so they went.
Later in this passage Jesus will commission them with the greatest task in the history of the world: telling others about Him so that they can have their sins forgiven and spend eternity in God’s presence (aka heaven). Every human being who has heard the gospel message since Jesus’ ascension to heaven (which took place about 30 days after the events in this passage) heard it because of these eleven young men, most of whom were likely teenagers.
When God called Abraham He told him to go to a land that He would show him [Genesis 12:1]. Abraham knew that God had called him to go. He didn’t know to where he was going. But he made himself available to God and God used him to build the great nation of Israel.
Serving God never starts with having all the details ahead of time. God lights our path just in front of us and calls on us to obey [Psalm 119:105]. He provides the rest of the details later. Serving God always starts with being available.
Someone who has skills God can use won’t be used by God if she does not make herself available. If we are too busy chasing after all the world has to offer God will not use us. Granite countertops don’t matter. Vacations in Hawaii don’t matter. All that matters is furthering God’s eternal kingdom by serving Him on this earth.
The greatest ability is availability. The disciples got to be part of this important task because they were where God wanted them when God wanted them to be there. If we want to be used by God to do great things we must likewise make ourselves available to Him.
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