The Resurrected One's Revelation in Galilee
All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
Therefore go 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 I have commanded you.
And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age.
The night that the Eleven had accompanied Jesus to the Garden of Gethsemane he told them, "After I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee." And on Easter morning at the tomb the angel said to the women, "Go, tell his disciples and Peter, `He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.'" It was chiefly in Galilee, then, far from the hostile bustle of Jerusalem, that the risen Lord intended to manifest himself to his disciples during those forty days before his ascension and speak to them about the kingdom of God, even though he had shown himself alive to them in Jerusalem immediately after his resurrection.
After they were in Galilee we heard yesterday how he, as it were, welcomed them with a breakfast after they had been fishing all night. It must have been on that occasion that he set a time when he would meet them on a certain mountain. At that time more than five hundred believers were gathered there with the Eleven. When he appeared before them they worshiped him; but some doubted. But then Jesus stepped forward to them and by his friendly manner dispelled all doubt. Then he spoke to them in a regal manner, saying, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go 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 I have commanded you. And surely I will be with you always, to the very end of the age."
God had raised from the dead and exalted the despised and crucified Jesus, who was indeed the long-promised Messiah, and given him all power in heaven and on earth. The angels worship him and the devils tremble before him. No human being can afford to ignore him. No sinner can be saved without him.
But the good news is that he came into this world to save sinners. He redeemed that whole world by bleeding and dying for it. He would have all come to him, be his own, and live under his rule in his kingdom and serve him, here in time and hereafter in eternity. That is why he commands his disciples and all who through faith in him have become his own to go forth and teach all nations. They are to proclaim that he is the Lord and Savior and all such who accept this teaching and Gospel are to be made his dear followers by baptism in the name of the Triune God. And they are to be taught everything that he taught and commanded those who witnessed his glory. And all who become and remain his disciples will be saved. But whoever in unbelief rejects him, aside from whom there is no salvation and in whose hands are all power, will be damned.
Such is the majestic royal command of the Crucified and Resurrected One, now exalted on high; he lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Ghost, the one true God, from eternity to eternity. That command he gave to his disciples on that Galilean mountain. And that command was not limited by the lifetime of those disciples to whom it was first given. This command is in force for all time wherever there are disciples of Jesus Christ. And theirs is the most precious of all promises: "And surely I will always be with you, to the very end of the age,' - when they will be with him. Since Jesus' gracious presence is with his disciples, they have all they need and need fear nothing and no one.
How blessed are you to be one of his disciples. The One who has all power in heaven and on earth is your dear Savior. And he is always with you. Oh, have faith in that Word and be guided by it as you go through life. And don't forget, you are to be his witness for everyone to see. And when your last hour comes, then cling to his Word all the more and know that then, too, he is most surely with you.
Knowing Thee and Thy salvation,
Grateful love dare never cease
To proclaim Thy tender mercies,
Gracious Lord, Thy heavenly peace.
Sound we forth the Gospel-tidings
To the earth's remotest bound
That the sinner has been pardoned
And forgiveness can be found.