Bp Dobbs June 2017
Jesus Still Says "GO"
Bishop Julian M. Dobbs
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 chapter 20, verses 16-20]
As Jesus prepared to ascend into heaven after the resurrection, He gathered the disciples together and commissioned them to make disciples of all nations. He said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore..” Notice those two words, “Go therefore..”
In the Old Testament the nations came to Jerusalem. On the Day of Pentecost there were dwelling in Jerusalem Jews, devout men from every nation under heaven…. the nations came to Jerusalem. This is a centripetal vision - the nations coming to Jerusalem from all over the known world to find the Messiah. But now, after the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the vision has dramatically changed… it is no longer centripetal, it has become centrifugal. The people of God are no longer waiting for the nations to come to them, they are ‘sent out’ as witness, as ambassadors of Christ in the world.
Gone are the days of the nations coming only to Jerusalem to find the Messiah… here now are the days for the disciples of Jesus not waiting for the individuals, the college students, the mothers and fathers, the teenagers and children to come to us in our churches, but to be sent out to the neighborhoods, towns and cities and nations. We are commissioned by Jesus to go to them. For what purpose? To make disciples!
And… Jesus still says 'Go therefore'! The gospel message is to be sent out, it is to be taken out by you and by me. This is one of the great strengths of the Anglican Church. Anglicans have always been missionary… sent out to do the work of gospel mission. Now in June 2017, it has fallen to us in our time, to preserve and proclaim the gospel which has been entrusted to us from Christ himself.
And then, right before He ascends into heaven Jesus gives his disciples a word of reassurance. He commissions his disciples to go make disciples of all nations, and then Jesus says, Behold I am with you always to the end of the age. This is such reassuring news from our Lord. No matter how alone a Christian may feel in their ministry, in their suffering, in their life… they are never truly alone because the Lord is there. The Lord is there… always to the end of the age.
Jesus stills says, “Go."