Tell the Good News About Jesus Convocation / Wyoming District LCMS
29 January 2011
The Lord Jesus has died for all. Bore the sin of many. Numbered with the transgressors. He didn't leave anyone out of His Good Friday. He died for all sin. Can you name any sinner or any sin that Jesus didn't die for? I didn't think so! He did the salvation job that only He could do. "It is finished." He did it unshakably!
And now He's freshly risen from the dead. He truly is God's Son. And He's been given all authority in heaven and on earth! Imagine that! It's no wonder. After all, in Matthew 9 we heard already how the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins. That's the authority of God Himself! Now we hear it again. And ratcheted up! "All authority." Where? Not only on the earth but even in heaven too! Everywhere! Nothing, no one, and no place are outside of the crucified and risen Christ's authority.
And so All Authority In Heaven and On Earth Jesus meets the Eleven. He goes to them. Good thing. They've lost one. Twelve minus Judas. The eleven worship AND doubt. Bipolar eleven. Worship-doubters! We'd have no use for them. We'd send them home. "Thanks boys for your time. It's been a nice three years. But the job Jesus has for you is just too big for the like of you. Thanks for your worship. That's nice. But you can't be doubting and get the job of making disciples of all nations done. We've taken a vote. We have no confidence in you! You're all just too shaky and unreliable for us. So here are eleven Jacksons for cab fare. Good luck!"
And what does Jesus do? He sends the eleven anyway! All confidence must be in Him! All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Him. Not you. Not me. Not the eleven. He's the Lord. He's the one who died and rose from the dead! Remember, He came to them. He's in charge. He's in control. Everything depends on Him – who died – who rose – who has been given all authority -- everywhere!
So Christ speaks! His Word always comes first! "Make disciples." That's the imperative. The main verb. His mandate. "Make disciples of all nations by baptizing and teaching." Baptizing in the Triune Name and teaching everything that Jesus has given. Not one or the other. Both.
What an incredible task! Make disciples of all nations by baptizing and teaching. Who could do such a thing? Can only Eleven get the job done? Can the professional clergy? We have to hurry! Chop! Chop! Faster! Faster! We panic. We despair. We play the blame game. If we believe that it's all up to us.
Good thing Jesus speaks up again. It's a wonderful promise. "Look, I'm with you always. I'm not leaving. I unshakably won salvation for everyone! Now I'll see to it that salvation's bestowal is unshakably delivered. For to be baptized in God's Name, like I just said, is to be baptized by God Himself! Anyone who is baptized in the Name of the Father has God as his Father! Anyone baptized in the Name of the Son receives all the benefits of My bloody Good Friday death. Anyone baptized in the Name of the Holy Spirit receives the life giving, life-sustaining power and presence of the Spirit."
"I'll see to this making disciples bit. You just be my instruments. Pastors: I have good use for you. Speak my words as I've mandated. Pour on the water. For in my words of Holy Baptism I'm speaking, I'm forgiving, I'm saving. People: I have good use for you too. Do my bidding and bring your children to the font. Bring them to church to hear my Word. Teach them what I've done for them. And if you want to invite your neighbors, bring them too. I won't turn them away. They can be my disciples as well. After all, all authority in heaven and earth has been given to me. I died. I rose. I'm the Savior. For the Eleven. For you. And for all nations."
In the Name of Jesus.