The Great Encouragement

William C. Brownson

READ : Matthew 28:16-20

We often call this passage “The Great Commission,” and with good reason. It sounds the farewell message of the risen Lord to his followers his charge to “make disciples of all nations.” They are to go, baptize, and teach all that he has commanded, so that Jesus may have his faithful followers in all the tribes and peoples of the world.

Equally grand is the companion promise. You could call this The Great Encouragement: “Remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” Making disciples of all nations is a huge assignment. Cross-cultural missionaries face menacing obstacles. They often meet with rejection and persecution. They are sometimes isolated and threatened with loneliness. They feel totally inadequate. But the promise of Jesus, the presence of Jesus, the power of Jesus make all the difference.

The “always” in this promise translates the Greek phrase “all the days.” Yes, today, tomorrow, and every day till Jesus comes again, he pledges himself to go with us. And he is, as David Livingstone once wrote, “a gentleman of the strictest honor, who always keeps his word.”

PRAYER

Lord, thank you for promising to be with us all the days. We trust you to empower us by your Spirit in our witness. Amen.