SERMON SUMMARY Sunday’s sermon locates us at a place of transition. Since Resurrection Sunday, we have been celebrating resurrection and watching the growing belief of the disciples . . . climaxed with Thomas’ declaration “my Lord and my God.” And, we can find ourselves basking in awesome wonder at who God is and what God has done. There is more, however, that God requires of us. We have experienced God’s love, God’s grace, God’s mercy, and God’s salvation. Others have not. The Great Commission – Matthew 28:16‑20 – demands more of us. We must “go and tell somebody” about who God is and what God has done for us . . . so others can experience God’s liberation and freedom. This is God’s plan; we go in God’s power. Go and tell somebody!
CHURCH IS INSTRUMENT OF GOD’S POWER. Church is far more than our individual healing and salvation. We are the instrument through which God shares his healing, saving, and liberating power. Read Luke Chapter 4:18-19 and Matthew 25:34-40.
- Reflect on the work of the church and how it relates to these two passages. What do we see of God’s concerns in these passages?
- How do we believe God would feel about the church that only focused inwardly on itself?
IT WON’T BE EASY. God’s plan and purpose is to liberate, to set free, to heal … and to save. However, it will meet great opposition.
- Thinking of Luke Chapter 4 and Matthew 25, reflect upon the world around us. Are there people still in bondage? People still imprisoned? People still naked, hungry, thirsty??? Is there still work for the church to do outside its walls?
- Look at Matthew 16:18. We must know that all of hell will break out to try to stop us from spreading Jesus’ liberating power. But, God assures us that hell shall not prevail against the church!
GOD’S POWER It is the fear of opposition that often stops us from doing most of what God has for us to do. It is the fear that grips all of us at some time. It is the fear that would have gripped the disciples on their journey with Jesus . . . and his journey to the cross. He makes clear both by his appearance and his words that there is nothing to fear because God has all power.
- Consider the emotional and spiritual roller coaster the disciples must have been on when Christ comes to them at this moment. Can we identify with the spiritual highs and lows of situations or life trials that we have gone through?
- In resurrection, Jesus has done all that he told them that he would do. How attentive do you think they would have been to his words? How assuring and empowering would those words have been to them (or us)?
Having appeared, assured and given them the words of power, Jesus is now ready to articulate his plan…the Great Commission.
GO AND MAKE DISCIPLES. Jesus, having declared who he is and that he has all power now – like a general – commands his troops (us) to go and make disciples. A disciple is one who is a learner or a follower. Our task is to go.
- What are some of the challenges that we face, as a church or individually in “going” to others? Given that this is a command of Jesus, do we work to override those obstacles or let them stop us from doing God’s work?
- He commands us to teach all that he has commanded. What does this mean for us? What does it mean for us to share with others?
- If we don’t go and make disciples … if we don’t go share what God has shown us, taught us, and done for us, who will?
GOD’S POWER AND PRESENCE. Again, we have uncertainties, doubts, and sometimes fear that stop us from spreading the word about who God is. But God assures us in this last verse that he will be with us forevermore. Utilize this knowledge, God’s awesome presence and awesome power, and go and tell somebody about our risen savior.