The celebration of the Ascension Sunday is oftentimes mislooked by churches. The Ascension Day should be celebrated 40 days after Easter and on the Sunday nearest to it.
What is the importance of the Ascension of Jesus?
There are many things that we can get from the ascension of Jesus but one important thing that we must not forget is that it was before the ascension of Jesus that He gave the Great Commission.
Matthew 28:19-20 tells us what our mission.
Where will we go? To go to people who have not yet accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Lord and Savior. They may have heard about Jesus but they have not accepted Him. The challenge for us to present the Gospel so that those who have heard it will make decisions.
Second, make disciples of all nations.
This means that we can make disciples anywhere. The goal is not to disciples thousands. The goal is to be like Jesus. He discipled only 12. One even became a traitor. Jesus had 3 disciples whom He spent more time – Peter, James and John. If you have 3 disciples in your lifetime, then God will be pleased with it.
The question is – are you mentoring somebody?
Third, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Baptism is an outward manifestation of our faith in Jesus Christ. We need people to understand that they have died with Jesus, buried with Jesus and resurrected with Jesus. This means that our old self has already died. So, every time your old self seems to come back, remember your baptism and bury it again.
Fourth, teaching them to obey everything Jesus has commanded us.
Our teaching philosophy is to teach to obey. Not just to teach in order for people to have knowledge of the Bible or to memorize verses, BUT to obey the commands of Jesus.
Are we obedient to the commands of Jesus?
The ending of the Great Commission is a promise, an assurance by Jesus. It says, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
Jesus will be with us, not just sometimes but all the time. It is always. But it is conditional. Jesus will be with us if we do the mission that He has given us.
Let us look back to the ascension of Jesus and remember to do the Great Commission. And as we do it, let us also remember what the angels said to the disciples, “Jesus is coming again.”
May God bless us all!
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on
Director, Office of Communications
Central Philippine University