Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 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. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” —Matthew 28:19-20
He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” —Luke 24:46-49
Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you. —John 20:21
When Ambassador Chris Stevens was sent to Libya he was sent in the authority of the United States like any other Ambassador. To attack him was to attack the United States. To kill any ambassador of the United States typically would bring a strong authoritative response, but not with the present administration.
Those sent are to come under the authority of the one doing the sending and it is known that to harm them would bring a powerful response. Earthly leaders fail, but in this passage following we see that those who harm God’s servants will be dealt with severely and that can be counted upon.
He went on to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard, rented it to some farmers and went away for a long time. At harvest time he sent a servant to the tenants so they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. He sent another servant, but that one also they beat and treated shamefully and sent away empty-handed. He sent still a third, and they wounded him and threw him out. “Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my son, whom I love; perhaps they will respect him.’ “But when the tenants saw him, they talked the matter over. ‘This is the heir,’ they said. ‘Let’s kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. “What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? He will come and kill those tenants and give the vineyard to others” (Luke 20:9-16).
Also in Revelation 6:9-11 we read that “When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained. They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?” Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.”
We are sent in the authority of Jesus to make disciples in the entire world. Those who harm the Lord’s servants will be dealt with by Him and His followers are not to retaliate, the Lord will take care of it (Romans 12:19). May we be faithful in discipleship. This is the mission He has sent us in under His authority.
Dear Father, may I be faithful in the mission to make disciples. Help me to remember that I have been sent in Jesus’ authority and to trust Him wherever I go.