They had spent about the last 3 ½ years together, they worked together, ate together, probably laughed together, celebrated holidays together, and they helped a countless number of people. In just a short time they had changed the world together. Than their last day together, Jesus looked at them and said,
‘“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, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”’ Matthew 28:18-20 (ESV).
Can you imagine the shock that they must have experienced as they stood there and watched as Jesus started to ascend into Heaven? Jesus just told them that he would be with them forever but then he started to float up into the sky. Luke describes Jesus as being lifted up and taken by a cloud out of their sight (Acts 1:9).
Can you imagine how hard it would be to see someone you had spent so much time with leave? There certainly would be a level of shock that the apostles would have experienced as they watched Jesus vanish behind a cloud. They had seen Him preform countless miracles, but this was a different type of shock. This was Jesus saying goodbye. They had done this once already, as they mourned their friend’s death, but Jesus had risen from the dead, Jesus had come back! But now he was leaving again. I can only imagine that learning it was time to say goodbye, once again, would have been hard to take.
Jesus had changed their world. He had become their world. And now Jesus would change the world through them.
He chose his last words intentionally, giving them world changing instructions. they weren’t going to change the world by ending world hunger or curing all diseases or viruses. Jesus wanted them to go and proclaim the good news of his resurrection and to teach others, making disciples, and baptizing them. Jesus was going to change the world by sending his disciples out to teach others to be like Him, Jesus was sending them to save souls!
Do you think it was difficult to the disciples to say goodbye to Jesus?
How does spreading the good news change the world?
If there were more Christians would the world be a better place?
How can we fulfill Jesus call to change the world?
Who do you want to tell the good news of Jesus’ Resurrection?
How will this make the world a better place?