Jesus said to them, “While I was still with you, I told you that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Books of the Prophets, and in the Psalms had to happen.” Then he helped them understand the Scriptures. He told them:
The Scriptures say that the Messiah must suffer, then three days later he will rise from death. They also say that all people of every nation must be told in my name to turn to God, in order to be forgiven. So beginning in Jerusalem, you must tell everything that has happened. I will send you the one my Father has promised, but you must stay in the city until you are given power from heaven.Â Â Â Luke 24:44-53 (CEV)
In Luke’s gospel, the Great Commission is not stated with the fanfare and exhortation that Matthew’s gospel does. I have another perspective on a familiar command.
Jesus says that He has told me that what was written about Him throughout the Old Testament is relevant. I can’t just read the New Testament and think I’ve got a clear picture of who and what Jesus is. We need more study guides written to help us study the Old Testament. When I take the time to read and use these â€œhelpsâ€, I can dig into the richness of the Old Testament and find some more of those nuggets every time I read. My #1 Old Testament study book is Who’s Afraid of the Old Testament God? by Dr. Alden Thompson. Every time I read it, the Holy Spirit shows me something new to reread in the Old Testament and learn.
Jesus tells me that His name is to go out to all nations, meaning all people, so that they will turn to God and know His forgiveness. You must tell, He says. I am commanded to tell people everything. And that includes the cross. Paul reiterates what Jesus says when he reminds us that people will see the power of the cross as foolishness (1 Corinthians 1:18). I will share what Jesus means to me and people will say, â€œBut if He is your Savior, why didn’t He save Himself?â€ And there is the opportunity to point to His great love. I cannot tell people about the Resurrection without telling them about the cross. It is Paul’s example that Jesus gives me that sets my understanding of how He provides His Spirit when I am weak – Jesus is strong (Romans8:26, 2 Corinthians 12:9).
And maybe the most important point to this passage is Jesus’ promise that His Spirit will live in me. It is that promise that I take with me every time I read and consider His Word. I seek His Spirit’s wisdom and true revelation. God’s Word is a lamp to light my steps (Psalm 119:105). It is wisdom and truth that will never pass away (Matthew 24:35), living and active (Hebrews 4:12), and relevant for me, my children, and my grandchildren.