Text: Matthew 28:16-20 and Luke 24:50-53
Event(s): The Great Commission; The Ascension
The Great Commission
This is the perfect conclusion to our 80-day study, as it highlights what this journey should produce within us: an awareness of what the finished work of Christ has done for us and empowered us to do, resulting in a passion to bring others into this same kingdom.
Though not yet realized for us in it’s fullness, the Kingdom of Heaven is now. It is the rule of God, justifiably exercised on earth as it always has been in Heaven. And it starts with God’s rule and right being formed in us and progresses to God’s rule and reign in mankind.
Matthew 28:18 “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.” Kings conquer with power, and they reign with authority. Jesus had clearly conquered death, hell and the grave. And now here, He declares His authority.
Power, or “dunamis” is the ability to subdue, conquer, create and regenerate.
Authority, or “exousia” is dominion, governance, to build up, to stop or remove something as well as putting authorities in place to have oversight. it is the ability to place or remove and involves delegation.
With the commission to the disciples (and to us) Jesus granted His authority. The Holy Spirit gives us power. Both, power and authority come by relationship. If we want to grow in these, we must focus on cultivating our relationship with the giver. Additionally, we will always walk in authority to the same measure we are yielded to the commission.
Our reading plan had us read Luke 24:44-49 earlier (as part of our reading on day 77). However, chronologically, it fits more appropriately here.
Luke 24:51 “Now it came to pass, while He blessed them, that He was parted form them and carried up into heaven.” 40 days had passed, and now Jesus returns to the Father.
Luke 24:53 “and they were continually in the temple praising and blessing God.” Though there had been mixed emotions by His disciples throughout these 40 days, Jesus had ministered to them, proven that He had raised from the dead, and now that He is returning to the Father, this event is marked with joy and celebration. Their sorrow had been reversed and that is what people should experience when they come into any temple (or church) today.
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.” John 14:1-3
Today’s Takeaway: Having God’s authority and using His power is wonderful. Here are some good points on walking in authority and sustaining it:
1.) We must understand and never forget whose authority it is we operate in. In other words, always remember under Whom we operate. It is God’s authority, not our own.
2.) Be a person who recognizes and submits to those God has placed in authority over us. We must be people of honor. If we do not operate in honorable ways, we are reflecting a poor image of God’s authority.
3.) We must know and operate within the parameters of our authority. We do not step outside of what we have been entrusted with. We keep to the field God has placed us in (2 Corinthians 10:13) and honor those boundaries until God enlarges us.
4.) We must determine the rules of engagement (so to speak). We have to learn how to fight and wage war in the spirit the way Jesus did – operating in the characteristics of the kingdom.
Additional (optional) reading: Numbers 6:24-26 and Parallel accounts of the events in today’s passages may be found in Mark 16:14-20
Friends, I pray that this study has blessed you. Thank you for coming along for the journey. There will be more to come, so please stay tuned. Until then, May the Lord bless you and keep you. May He make His face shine upon you and and be gracious to you. May He lift up His countenance upon you and give you peace.
To God be all glory and honor
-Linda G. Riddle