Jesus Christ, the Son of God, gave his disciples power and authority to spread his message and perform miracles. But why did he do this? What was the purpose behind it?
The Commissioning of the Disciples
Before Jesus ascended into heaven, he commissioned his disciples (also known as apostles) with a specific task. In Matthew 28:19-20, Jesus said, “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.”
This commissioning was not just a suggestion or a request. Jesus gave his disciples a command to go out into all the world and make disciples.
But how were they supposed to do this? They were just ordinary men with no special training or education.
The Power and Authority Given to the Disciples
To equip his disciples for this task, Jesus gave them power and authority. In Luke 9:1-2, we read that Jesus “called together his twelve apostles and gave them power and authority to drive out all demons and to cure diseases.”
This was not just a symbolic gesture. The disciples actually had the power to heal people and cast out demons.
But why did Jesus give them this power? Was it simply so they could perform impressive miracles? No, there was a deeper purpose behind it.
The Significance of Miracles
Miracles were not just meant to be impressive displays of power. They were also signs that pointed people towards God’s kingdom. In John 20:30-31, we read that “Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples..But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God.”
The miracles performed by Jesus (and later by his disciples) were meant to testify to who Jesus was and what he came to do. They were meant to show that he was the Messiah, the Son of God, who had come to bring salvation and redemption to all people.
The Purpose of Authority
The authority given to the disciples was also significant. It gave them the ability to speak with authority on behalf of Jesus. In Luke 10:16, Jesus tells his disciples, “Whoever listens to you listens to me; whoever rejects you rejects me; but whoever rejects me rejects him who sent me.”
By giving his disciples authority, Jesus was entrusting them with a great responsibility. They were not just speaking on their own behalf, but on behalf of Jesus himself. This gave their message greater weight and significance.
The Importance of Spreading the Gospel
Ultimately, the power and authority given to the disciples was meant to enable them to spread the gospel message throughout the world. This message was not just for a select few, but for all people.
In Mark 16:15-16, Jesus tells his disciples, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.”
The gospel message is one of salvation and hope. It is a message that needs to be shared with everyone.
Jesus gave his disciples power and authority so that they could spread his message throughout the world. The miracles they performed were not just impressive displays of power, but signs that pointed people towards God’s kingdom. The authority they were given enabled them to speak with greater weight and significance on behalf of Jesus himself.
As Christians today, we have also been entrusted with this same task. We are called to share the gospel message with those around us. We may not have the same miraculous powers as the apostles did, but we do have something even more powerful: the message of salvation through Jesus Christ.