“The Authorization and the Promise” – Seeds of Faith – April 30, 2018

Dear friends,
The Ascension Day – a day that celebrates the ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ is celebrated on the 40th day after Resurrection Sunday. This year 2018, it falls on May 10. I encourage churches to either celebrate it on May 6 or on May 13 to coincide with Mother’s Day.
Before Jesus ascended into heaven, He gave His disciples a command, which we now call as the Great Commission – “…go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28:18-20). What is interesting in this command is the phrase preceding it, and another phrase succeeding it. The command is sandwiched by an authorization and a promise – these phrases make all the difference in the fulfillment of the command.
First, the authorization that comes with the command – “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me” – should give us the courage to become witness of Jesus wherever that may be.
Who can claim that He has all the authority in this universe? Only God can do that. This means that Jesus who gives us this command is God. Because of this, we should be emboldened to go and spread the Good News of salvation in Jesus Christ. The one who gives us this command is not just a mere general, king or president but the King of kings and the Lord of lords. We have been authorized by the Creator, our God.
Second, the promise when you fulfill the command – “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age” – should give us the assurance that no matter what happens Jesus will be there with us.
The fear factor is always the barrier that impedes us in doing something that we have not done before. Fear cripples us and makes us complacent or worst, apathetic. But the promise of Jesus should give us the confidence that we can share the Gospel. We can share Jesus in our homes, neighborhood, schools, workplaces and in other places because God is with us, not just sometimes, but always!
Let us now go out emboldened with the authority given by Jesus, and assured with His abiding presence.
Rev. Francis Neil G. Jalando-on
Office of Communications
Central Philippine University

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