Jesus had died on the cross and after three days had risen again, just as He said He would. For forty days after He came out of the tomb, Jesus met with groups of His disciples at different places, showing them He was alive.
The disciples had been sad when Jesus was crucified. They were afraid they would be killed next. Now they rejoiced that their beloved Lord had returned to them.
But they still did not understand His mission on earth. They still looked for an earthly kingdom that would overthrow the Roman rulers, even though Jesus had told them plainly, “The Kingdom of God is within you.” “Lord,” they asked eagerly. “Will you at this time restore the kingdom to Israel?”
The Bible says Jesus “opened their understanding.” He explained to them that all that had happened was fulfillment of the Scriptures. Now, the disciples had a job to do.
“You were witnesses of all that happened,” Jesus told them. “It is your work to tell everyone in all nations that the price of sin has been paid. All may be saved if they repent.”
Again, He promised them the help of the Holy Spirit. “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you,” He said, “and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
Jesus was ready to leave. His disciples must now take up the work He had begun.
“Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you,” He told them. But He would not leave them to work alone. “Lo, I am with you always,” He promised, “even unto the end of the age.”
Jesus had taught His disciples to love one another, to love their neighbors, and to love God with all their hearts. He had taught them to keep His commandments. This was the message the followers of Jesus must carry to all nations.
It was a big task Jesus had given to His disciples, and it is the same task He gives to us. But the promise is as big as the job He asks us to do. When we give our lives and our service to Him, He will be with us every step of the way.
Troubles will come to us. Satan will try to discourage us. But when we turn to Jesus, He will give us strength. We will grow closer to Him, and our faith in Him will grow stronger as we see how He keeps His promises to us. Jesus told His followers to begin in their homes. That was the hardest place for them to start, for it was the leaders in Jerusalem who had put Jesus to death and who hated His followers.
We, too, are to begin at home. We must witness for Jesus in our families, at school and at work. We must love as Jesus loves, forgive as he forgives, and tell others about His love and His salvation.
That doesn’t mean we should always preach sermons. Sometimes just preaching words can drive people away. They may not want to listen. But we can always preach with attitudes and actions of love.
When we love Jesus, we will love people—parents, brothers and sisters, schoolmates, the people we work with, the clerk at the supermarket, teachers and even the most unpopular kid in town.
The love of Jesus shining in our lives will melt hard hearts. When others see the love we have for them, they will want to know about Jesus, the One who gives us that love.
Not everyone is meant to be a preacher or a teacher or a missionary to foreign countries. But everyone who love Jesus and believes in Him will be a witness for Him. We will witness by every loving word we say.
Perhaps a friend wants to know Jesus. We can bring Jesus to the hearts of our friends. We can be His messengers, bring hope, happiness and cheer to those we meet. We can do the work Jesus would do if He were here.
And in all we do we can be fearless and brave, for we have His beautiful promise: “Lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
The command to preach the gospel is given several times. Read
Matthew 24:14, Matthew 28:16-20, Mark 16:14-16, Luke 24:44-48,
John 15:27 and Acts 1:4-8
“Teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you: and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the world.” Matthew 28:20