As he was completing his time on earth with us, before returning to Heaven, Jesus gave the apostles (and us!) instructions to continue his work. We often call it “The Great Commission.” Jesus said: “Go, then, to all peoples everywhere and make them my disciples: baptize them in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, and teach them to obey everything I have commanded you.” Then Jesus added a powerful promise to “The Great Commission,” saying “And I will be with you always, to the end of the age.” This encouragement basically means, “you’re not on your own to do all this.”
To me, the most amazing thing about the story of the “The Great Commission” and the “Promise” is that Matthew (chapter 28) noted that there was DOUBTING happening among the apostles. They weren’t perfect in their faith and Jesus still sent them out to make disciples. It’s a mistake for us to think that we need to be spiritually perfect to make disciples. Paul later reminded us to be compassionate, gentle, and understanding in the work of making disciples, so it’s really important that we read and study such teachings. The word “disciple,” after all means “learner.”
Jesus wants us to be disciples, to live as disciples, and make MORE disciples. In order that we be faithful and successful, Jesus promises to never, ever leaves us! He will be with is always!
The word “always” is a powerful part of the promise of Jesus! Jesus will be with you when you’re spiritually struggling. Jesus will be with you, when you do God’s work, and there’s a lot of work to do. Jesus will be with you in illness, surgery, sedation, even a coma. Jesus will be with you when you’re mind begins to fail. Jesus will be with you when you’re dying. You name it! Jesus will be with you in EVERY struggle and joy that comes your way. Jesus is with you ALWAYS!
Jesus also said that he will be with us always “to the end of the age.” Jesus is with you until the end of your personal history, until the end of the world’s history. Then, when the journey of earthly life is over, Jesus will be with us for all eternity, forever and forever. Amen!