Imagine with me the scene, Jesus is about to leave this earth for heaven, not to return until the time the Father appointed and for the purpose of making all things right. He gives this commission.
And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And 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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.” -Matthew 28:17-20
Jesus trusts His human life’s sacrificial work to a bunch of guys who just days before had deserted Him and fled. Nevertheless He gave his commission (his marching orders) to this bunch. Maybe they didn’t realize it or felt it but they had been prepared more fully than they understood. Now Jesus’s life work was being placed in their hands. And they delivered, big time! But it was not in their power. They had been sent, commissioned for the task. Then, after the anointing of the Holy Spirit, moved boldly. Let’s not be the least bit confused:
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing. -John 15:5
But with Jesus:
I can do all things through him who strengthens me. -Philippians 4:13
We are not all equally equipped, I grant. Experience, love for and knowledge of God’s will, through scripture, do come into play. Is that not our main priority anyway. But as we come to know and love Him he gives this promise:
And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. -Mark 13:10-11
As we try to impart the good news to others, we are being brought to trial, the judgment of the hearer, possible others nearby or those who know our own shortcomings. But look back at the scripture. Who is speaking?
Not all are mouthpieces, Peter spoke the first sermon with other apostles and the faithful women alongside. Hospitality plays a huge part creating a favorable environment for hearing the good news. Being a friend, coaching kid’s sports teams, listening to kids at Dan Mills Elementary, these and others prepare the way for the good news.
But never is it in our power. We are servants. The words of Jesus again:
But rise and stand upon your feet, for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to appoint you as a servant and witness to the things in which you have seen me and to those in which I will appear to you, delivering you from your people and from the Gentiles—to whom I am sending you to open their eyes, so that they may turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in me.’ - Acts 26:16-18
Jesus was speaking to Paul and through His word to us today. We are sent! Now it is our time we are prepared more than we know. Move forward!