Yesterday I talked about how we can do the things Christ did because he ministered in the power of the Spirit, and we have that same Spirit. But I’ve always struggled to find the direct connection between what Jesus commanded the Apostles to do, and us. Intrinsically I believe that all of the Scriptures are written to every generation of believers and we’re to obey, and there are plenty of implicit commands to this end, but where is it explicitly stated?
For example, Jesus “called his twelve disciples to him and gave them authority to drive out evil spirits and heal every disease and sickness” (Matt 10.1). Great, ‘Them’. I still take it as for us, but I have to go the long way around.
Ok, I’m a bit dense. It’s quite simple really, and I’m sure you’ve already figured it out.
Matt 28.18-20 is a key ministry text. It’s the mission statement of many churches, and I’ve been hammering it lately.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them ina 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 promised his apostles his authority and presence, and charged them with making disciples. We understand this to apply to the church because the apostles are the foundation of the church. But still, because I’m a tortured individual, this nagging doubt. Where’s the command for us today to do it the way Jesus did it then?
V.20, of course, is the key. ‘Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded’.
I’ve missed something, but that’s how I’ve always read it. Everything Jesus commanded, period. Implication: there were things he said to the apostles that don’t apply to us. They were specific commands for them, not for us.
But of course, that’s not what Jesus said.
‘Teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.’
It’s not that hard really. But I said I’m dense.
Jesus told the apostles to teach us to do what he taught and commanded them to do. He told them to drive out demons, heal the sick, raise the dead. They were meant to teach us to do the same. And they still teach us, through the Scriptures.
Jesus ministry was the apostles’ ministry is the Church’s ministry.
The gospels aren’t just history books. They’re not just theology books. They’re a ministry manual.