Great-Commission-3This is how we should read Matthew 28:18-20 (or even Acts 1:8).

“I have all power.”

“I’m with you wherever you go.”

“Now go and make disciples.”

We tend to focus on # 3, the going part.  But the going part is totally impossible without #1 and #2.  The real message is something like this . . .

“Go, and I will go with you.”

“Go, and I will go ahead of you.”

“Go, and I will take care of you.”

In light of how things worked out, we should probably add this:

“Go, and you will probably die for my sake, but I will be with you to the very end, and when you die, I will not leave you, not even for a second. I will be with you forever no matter what.”

We have a lot of fears about evangelism, don’t we?

What if they ask me a question I can’t answer? (They will.)

What if they get angry with me? (Bound to happen sooner or later.)

What if I forget what I’m supposed to say? (Happens to all of us eventually.)

What if I knock on the door and it turns out to be my partner at the law firm? (Well, that’s awkward, but it could happen.)

What if someone says I’m narrow-minded and judgmental? (You’ve probably faced that already.)

What if I can’t overcome my fears? (That’s the whole point of this passage.)

It’s a big world out there and it can seem very scary.  These days you might run into Muslims or Hindus or Sikhs, and you will certainly run into secular folks who don’t want any kind of religion, especially the kind that causes people to go out and share their faith with others.

You can avoid some of these embarrassing situations if you decide never to talk about your faith at all.  But if you retreat into a stained-glass sanctuary where you are surrounded by Christians and only by Christians, you will never discover the true power and presence of Jesus.

You’ll never know if Jesus has the power to help you until you really need his help.

You’ll never know if Jesus is with you until you decide to go somewhere in his name.

No worries.

Jesus says, “I’m more powerful than anything you can run into.”

No pressure.

Jesus says, “I’m going with you wherever you go.  You’re not on your own.”

So I say to all who read this: I’m excited for you.  Have a blast.

The good news for all of us comes from Jesus himself:

Not everyone will love you, but you cannot fail.

Not everyone will believe your message, but you cannot fail.

And that’s how the Christian movement started with 11 men, some of whom doubted.  Talk about a miracle.  And we get to be part of it.

“I have all power.”

“I will go with you.”

If this is true, we cannot fail.  When Jesus gets involved, amazing things happen.

“Go, and I will go with you.”

That’s the whole plan right there.  It still works after 2000 years.