The story of the Great Commission is an excellent text to reflect upon during a major life milestone. Which I think is something you could say was happening for the disciples in that moment. For in that moment, the Risen Christ is passing the torch and his mission to his followers. It is a major moment in the life of the church.
The story of the Great Commission comes to us from Matthew’s Gospel. It is as follows, “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. 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, and teaching them to obey everything that I have commanded you. And remember, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”(28:16-20)
This past month, our local youth have been experiencing sets of milestones for themselves. And one group is celebrating a major life moment. That group being the Class of 2021 who have recently graduated High School and College or will be graduating this weekend. And this text provides some words of encouragement for them and for all of us.
In verse 17, the text tells us that some of the disciples doubted what they were seeing. In life, there are moments when we will experience doubts. The disciples had been told Jesus was Risen and to go the mountain and still some doubted. Even when everything feels certain, there will be times that we may doubt what we are doing and what we know is true. Do not be discouraged when this happens. Those feelings are allowed, and Christ meets us in them.
And in verse 20, as he is preparing to send his disciples out on their own, Jesus makes his followers a promise. This promise has provided me comfort over the course of my life so far and I hope it can do the same for you. Jesus says, “I am with you always to the end of the age.” No matter how far you go from home or where your journey takes you, Christ promises to be with us there. And he will not forsake this promise for he is faithful and loyal to us. Consider Christ to be your safety net as you continue to grow in faith and journey through life.