Watch, Pray and Go by Dave Wilson
A & K are the Coordinators for the mission course called “Perspectives on the World Christian Movement”. This is a 15 week course that we offer here at Trinity every other year.
The conclusion of the Gospel of Matthew is filled with tension and suspense which leads to the death of our Lord Jesus Christ and then his glorious resurrection and final instructions to His followers. “God’s Will” is challenged and questioned throughout this entire dramatic conclusion of the book. While interacting with A& K about this passage, I realized that the mission of God in this world was brought to life through the death of His son. Instead of keeping the job all to Himself, Jesus unleashed His spirit into the lives of His followers to whom He has delegated the work of sharing the hope of everlasting and eternal life.
In the Garden of Gethsemane Jesus asked His disciples to ‘watch and pray’. Of course, Jesus knew what was ahead of them, so He encouraged them to be alert to the work of their Father in Heaven. The life that we are called into as Christ followers is not easy, but the comforting thing is that Jesus will always be with us no matter what may happen. And it is okay to question God in the midst of a trial or hardship. Jesus prayed and asked to be released from His fate, but he was resolute to do what the Father wanted. That should be our goal as well when we pray.
Jesus also sent His followers out on a mission. They were to watch for where God was calling them, and then pray and question the Father about the calling – just as Jesus did in the garden. But, His followers are also commissioned to ‘go’. The last recorded words of Christ in this gospel (Matthew 28:18-20) give very specific directions on what to do next. He could have said “go and be good people.” Or “go and do good works.” Or “go and be healthy, wealthy and wise.” But based on His authority, we are to go and make disciples. We are to baptize them and teach them. And not just here at home, but in all nations. This command is for all true believers, no matter if the calling is to go all the way around the world or if you just simply need to get off the couch and tell a friend.
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