Mt. 28:19-20 “Therefore 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. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
Jesus says, all authority has been given to me. Jesus had been mocked a few hours before, but now he claims universal rule over heaven and earth. The king of the Jews has become the King of the world! With irresistible authority! Now we usually don’t think much about this phrase. But it’s crucial. Because it sets the stage for what Jesus will say next. All authority has been given to me. So, Go! Move out! You’re not on your own. So get moving! The imperative of this verb is used three other times in Matthew to mandate people physically go somewhere. It’s a dynamic command. Get moving. “Go and make disciples of all nations.”
Jesus says, make disciples of all nations. Jesus is saying, go to all the people groups of the world. We have to remember that we are sent to all kinds of peoples. Every ethnic group. Every economic group. People with different educational backgrounds. Different moral backgrounds. People who have tattoos and piercings.
How many people do you know who are not like you? The percentage of Americans who have never known:
a Buddhist: 59 percent
an undocumented immigrant: 54 percent
a Muslim: 46 percent
a homeless person: 45 percent
a political liberal: 25 percent
a political conservative: 24 percent
a former inmate: 15 percent
a wealthy person: 12 percent
I love the movie Blindside. It’s based on the true story of Michael Oher, who became an offensive lineman for the Baltimore Ravens. Big Mike was admitted to a private Christian school in spite of the fact he had no family, no money and a GPA of 0.8. Big Mike was frustrated because all around him he saw white: white walls, white faces. One night Leigh Anne Tuohy sees Big Mike walking back to the gym when it should be closed. She finds out he has nowhere to stay and invites him to her home. The Tuohys make Michael part of their family. They adopt him into their family. Now I know not everyone can do what the Tuohys did. But the Tuohys made a difference in Michael Oher's life. Unfortunately, there are a lot of Michaels out there who will never find their Tuohys.
Think about how you can build a bridge to other people. Especially people who are different from you. What does that look like for you? Maybe it means you become a foster parent or an adoptive parent for a child of another race or background. Maybe it means you invite a neighbor of another ethnicity to your home this week for dinner. Maybe it means you build a friendship with a student of another race at your school. But here’s the thing: you can’t obey Christ and wait for people of other backgrounds to come to you. You have to go to them!
Christ calls us to go and make disciples of all nations!
Jesus calls us to go into the world for the lost, the last, and the least!
For the lost! We have it all mixed up. We count who’s here. God counts who’s not here! We count the number of people in the seats. God counts the number of people who are sharing their faith! So how will you bless the lost? Maybe you go to the people you know and say, How can I pray for you? You ask waiters and waitresses and police officers and teachers, how can I pray for you?
For the last. Mark 10:45, “For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” This is not just community service. It’s a different way of thinking. Sometimes we shrink wrap our view of what ministry is. For example, what is children’s ministry? We think of what happens every Sunday morning, and that’s a fantastic component of children’s ministry. But what about public school teachers? What if we volunteered to pray for every public school teacher in our community?
For the least. Mt. 25:40, “Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.” Christ calls us to serve the least and the marginalized and the disenfranchised. This changes the scorecard! We don’t measure success by the numbers in the seats. We measure success by the number of people saved, and the number of people served! Let me give you an assignment for this week. It’s very simple. Go out this week and ask, God, what is it you want me to see? Who is it you want me to see? What situations are you asking me to get involved in? Whose lives are you asking me to touch? Pray “God, help me see what you want me to see.” Then I want to encourage you to be ready to say, this is what God showed me this week! We’ve been trying to get God to fall in love with what is on our hearts! But we have to get on board with what’s on God’s heart! We are sent, to all kinds of people.