Eyewitness pp 261,262
Matthew 5:48 AMP
Matthew 22:39, 18:20-22 and 28:18-20 NLT
Mark 8:33,34 NLT
Colossians 2:12 NLT
In your Bible: Matthew 28:18-20
We continue to study Jesus’ teaching on the mountain – a discourse called the Great Commission. It may be helpful to reread Matthew 28:18-20. We as believers’ now have the strength to complete his commission, because Jesus said, “and be sure of this, I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20 NLT).
The practice of baptism gives witness to our belief. As in the early church baptism shows a new believer’s response of faith. It publicly signifies that the individual is now a follower of Jesus.
Jesus mentions the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit as he commands baptism for believers. What an event that must have been when the other two were also present at his baptism and gave witness (the dove and a voice from heaven) as Jesus rose from the water (see Matthew 28:19).
The Apostle Paul says it plainly, “For you were buried with Christ when you were baptized. And with him you were raised to a new life because you trusted the mighty power of God, who raised Christ from the dead” (Colossians 2:12 NLT).
Obey My Commands
Jesus says we are to obey all of his commands. As he taught, he presented many things we should do. This command is clear, Jesus said: We are to love one another! This is the way people will know we are Jesus’ disciples (See John 13:34,35).
In other parts of the Gospels, the command may be less direct but surely we need to listen/hear. Here is a starter kit for the (hard) commands by Jesus:
- Forgivenes/Forgive – Peter came to him [Jesus]and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me? Seven times?” “No!” Jesus replied, Seventy times seven! (Matt 18:21,22 NLT)
- Love one another –“Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples” (John 13:35 NLT).
- Believe in me . . . “Believe that I am in the Father and the Father is in me. Or at least believe because of the work you have seen me do. I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father. You can ask for anything in my name, and I will do it, so that the Son can bring glory to the Father “. . . (John 14:11-14 NLT).
- Give up your own way —Then Jesus said to his disciples, “If any of you wants to be my follower, you must give up your own way, take up your cross, and follow me” (Matthew 16:24 NLT).
Be perfect – “You, therefore, will be perfect [growing into spiritual maturity both in mind and character [actively integrating godly values into your daily life], as your heavenly Father is perfect” (Matthew 5:48 AMP).
There are many more things Jesus commands believers to do. Some may be masked in a parable, a teaching, or talks with disciples. Many commands may seem (and are) very difficult. I believe the Lord wanted to show that with him all things are possible.
In this discourse at the mountain, Jesus comforted them (and all of us today) with a wonderful promise — “and be sure of this: I am with you always” (Matthew 28:20).
Prayer: Father, help me live through your commands and be an instrument to love and help others.
Question: What seems to be the hardest command for you?