Many times we read certain passages in the Bible over and over that we don't really think about them too much. But the Holy Spirit does his work in us and often points to us what we need to be reminded or what we need to do. This is the case with me this week. I was finishing up the book of Matthew and came to the end where Jesus says to his disciples: “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth...." Matthew 28:16
As I read it, the Holy Spirit reminded to me of this fact. The resurrected Christ has all power in heaven. Well, this I knew. He is there and I am here. But that's not the case. As Jesus was ascending to heaven he said ALL power had been given to Him (by the Father) in heaven and earth. Yes, Jesus has ALL power here on earth. It would appear that this is not the case. We, Christians, know that Jesus is coming back to reign and we often forget that he already has ALL power or authority here on earth. There is nothing that Jesus can't do now. He is not limited in power nor is he limited by time and space. He has all power on earth. As I continued reading, the words "I am with you always," rang in my head. Jesus left earth, but he didn't leave us orphans (exactly what he told his disciples in John 14:17, 18, 25-26). He sent the Holy Spirit to be in us and with us. Thus, the Holy Spirit who is one with God the Father and God the Son is with us.
The context of this passage is making disciples, followers of Jesus. Let me share some brief thoughts on this and then come back to my focus. This command was given to the Lord's disciples but it applies to us as well. We, who are disciples, are also called to make disciples of all nations. We have nothing to fear nor be intimidated because we have been delegated this authority by Jesus. To make disciples is to share the Gospel of Christ with those who don't know him, and once they come to faith in him, teach them what the Lord has taught us. They in turn continue to do the same with others. Making disciples of disciples is not what Jesus said, which is what many times we think it means.
The passage also has an application outside of discipleship. Jesus has all power in heaven and earth. He has power over everything, which also means every circumstance in our lives. We can rest assured that he has all power over us as well. He is in control. This doesn't mean he will grant everything we ask but he promises to be with us every single moment of our lives until the end of the age. That is reassuring and comforting.
That's exactly what the Holy Spirit reminded me.
Here is a quote from Jamieson, Fausset and Brown on this passage: "All power in heaven"-- the whole power of Heaven's love and wisdom and strength, "and all power in earth"-- power over all persons, all passions, all principles, all movements-- to bend them to this one high object, the evangelization of the world:All this "is given unto Me." as the risen Lord of all, to be by Me placed at your command-- "Go ye therefore."
"Now as you go, make disciples. You have my power and my presence."