As Jesus gathers with his disciples on that Galilean Mountain for a final time, what would he say to them? Would he say, “It’s been fun. Thanks for the memories.”? Or maybe, “I will miss you. Hang in there.” Of course not. As the disciples see Jesus, they are mixed with worship and worry (Matt 28:17).
In that moment, Jesus says, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt 28:18-20).
The change in circumstances for the disciples did not change their mission – make disciples of all nations. In fact, it propelled it. The mission of Jesus is to continue through the disciples of Jesus. The work is just getting started, he tells his disciples. Instead of sitting back in fear of what just happened or what might happen, the disciples are given their mission and assured of Jesus’ ongoing presence.
The circumstances surrounding the last weeks of Jesus’ life on earth did not deter the mission; rather, it gives fuel for the mission. Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection is the basis for the mission he gives his disciples. Though the disciples are long gone and with the Lord now, the mission he gave them on that mountaintop remains. The mission continues, as Jesus promises his presence to all who live out this mission (Matt 28:20).
Jesus insists, “I am with you always, even to the end of the age” (Matt 28:20). Quite literally, Jesus says that he is with us “all the days, even to the end of the age.” His presence is promised to us as we continue the mission. Seasons and circumstances change, but the mission marches on as Jesus promises to be with us.
Whether in pandemics, wars or the like, the mission of Jesus continues until the “end of the age.” The Lord’s church must find ways to stay on mission locally and globally regardless of the circumstances. Your church plays a vital role in the mission given to us by Jesus. How will you ensure that the mission continues across the street and across the sea regardless of the circumstances? The Missions Mobilization Team is here to help you do just that, to continue the mission of Jesus.