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 "Birds of the Apse", photo by Charles Clegg, in the Vanderbilt University Divinity Library.
Copyright: Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0).

Jesus came and said to them,  "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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”
(Matthew 28:18-20)

When humans get sufficiently motivated, they can marshal their resources and accomplish seemingly impossible things.  This has happened when specific diseases have been eradicated, for example, or when humans went to the moon. 

Jesus here gave a very few disciples (followers) a task which was, humanly speaking, quite impossible: to go with the message of Jesus to the people of every nation (literally, ethnicity, people-group).  But they quite nearly did it!  No, those few disciples, present on the mountain that day, did not themselves go to every people-group on earth; but, they told some, who told others, who told others … right down to this day.  Today, some people groups remain which still need to hear the message of Jesus, and that job must be completed, but the message has gone further than that original group of disciples could have ever conceived.

But we must never think that success of the message of Jesus going to the people-groups of the world is because humans marshalled their resources and did some great thing. No, it is because, and only because, Jesus was with his disciples, and Jesus is still with his disciples.  Whatever your ethnicity, you have an active part in carrying out Jesus’ commission.  But don’t assume your own special abilities to accomplish this. Rather, rely on the simple yet profound truth that Jesus is with you, by his Holy Spirit, to accomplish this great task. Jesus is with us by his Holy Spirit. And that is one reason why Christian baptism is done in the name of the Holy Spirit – because the Holy Spirit is the active and activating part of the Christian’s life in carrying out Jesus’ commission, the very presence of Jesus in and among us.

Prayer: Come, Holy Spirit, and complete through us the commission that Jesus gave to us and to His original disciples. Thank you, Jesus, that you are with us by your Spirit. 

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